Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 25645

1 Wednesday, 27 September 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


10 [Witness answered through interpreter]

11 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.

12 Yes, Mr. Kovacic.

13 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

14 Examined by Mr. Kovacic:

15 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Drmic. Thank you for having

16 come. I would please ask you to repeat your name, surname, date and place

17 of birth.

18 A. I am Bono Drmic, born in Donja Veceriska, municipality of Vitez,

19 on the 9th of April, 1957.

20 Q. Where do you reside nowadays?

21 A. Currently I reside in Vitez, the street of Kulina bana T-9.

22 Q. In 1992 and in 1993, where did you live?

23 A. I lived in the village of Donja Veceriska.

24 Q. Are you married?

25 A. Yes, yes, and I have two sons.

Page 25646

1 Q. What are you by profession?

2 A. I am a professional firefighter.

3 Q. You did your military service in the JNA before the war in the

4 former Yugoslavia?

5 A. Yes, yes. I did my military service in Urosevac.

6 Q. As a firefighter, you worked in the SPS before the war broke out,

7 or even earlier, from the 1980s onwards?

8 A. Yes. From 1980 I worked in the SPS.

9 Q. And where are you employed today?

10 A. I'm now employed in the former SPS. Now it is called Vitez

11 Kromen.

12 Q. Thank you. In terms of ethnic composition, what could you say

13 about the village of Donja Veceriska? What is the pattern, speaking from

14 an ethnic point of view?

15 A. The village of Donja Veceriska consists of two ethnic groups: the

16 Croats and the Bosniaks. Sixty per cent are Bosniaks and forty per cent

17 are Croats.

18 Q. When the aggression of the JNA started, from the very beginning of

19 1992, and later, as the war progressed in 1993, what did you do at the

20 SPS?

21 A. I was a professional firefighter non-stop in the SPS. I worked as

22 a firefighter, professional firefighter.

23 Q. In relation to the village of Donja Veceriska, where is the SPS

24 factory? How far away is your place of work from your home?

25 A. Well, from my home and from Donja Veceriska -- I mean, my village

Page 25647

1 practically borders on the company compound, so it's a five-minute

2 distance, really.

3 Q. Can we say that where the SPS was built, where its fence is, that

4 was actually the land of the peasants from your village; is that right?

5 A. All the land used to be owned by the villagers of Donja Veceriska

6 and Divjak. That is also a village that borders on the SPS compound.

7 Q. Mr. Drmic, during 1992, did you take part in military actions of

8 the HVO from Vitez in the struggle against the JNA?

9 A. I did participate. I participated at Vlasic. It's called

10 Galica. I think it was in the month of May. I reported more or less on a

11 voluntary basis, because some men went and I had work duty all the time

12 and I didn't want to be left behind.

13 Q. Who was the enemy? What was this action at Galica? Against who?

14 A. We were supposed to go there and the Bosniaks were supposed to

15 come with us. However, since they did not come with us, we went to fight

16 against the former JNA and the Serbs up there.

17 Q. How many days were you in this action all together?

18 A. We returned soon, after a day and a half -- two days, let's say.

19 Q. When you returned to the village, did you continue to go to work?

20 A. Well, of course, naturally. I had work duty all the time. I went

21 back to my place of work.

22 Q. When you returned, did you consider yourself to be a soldier or

23 did somebody else consider you to be a soldier?

24 A. I did not consider myself to be a soldier, and I don't think that

25 anybody else thought I was a soldier. I went voluntarily with the men who

Page 25648

1 went.

2 Q. Later were you in some other action?

3 A. Yes. Yes. I was at Slimena.

4 Q. How many days did you spend there?

5 A. Two or three days.

6 Q. And when you returned to your village, you continued to work in

7 the SPS again; is that right?

8 A. Yes, that's right.

9 Q. Did you have a similar military task after that at any point?

10 A. My only task was to go to the village of Kruscica, to provide

11 security for their Ribnjak Hotel. That is where people who were sent to

12 Slatka Voda came. That was the line between the Serbs and the Croats and

13 the Muslims. We went to that line. I did not go. I provided security

14 for the hotel. I stayed there. So I did not go up there. I stayed there

15 as a kind of guard, janitor, whatever.

16 Q. Approximately how much time did you spend there then?

17 A. Seven days. I was there as a janitor/guard all the time.

18 Q. So during those seven days, you actually adapted this facility so

19 that it could be used for such purposes?

20 A. Well, it's hard to say what this building was but it was simply a

21 centre from where people were sent to the front line. It was a motel by a

22 fish pond before, Ribnjak being fish pond, so there was good fish there

23 before.

24 Q. Sir our conversation is being interpreted so when I put a question

25 to you, could you please leave at least five seconds for the interpreters

Page 25649

1 to catch up and I'll try to do the same thing, otherwise it's hard for the

2 interpreters to keep up with us.

3 Those few days while you were at Ribnjak, did you work on the

4 adaptation of that building?

5 A. Well, when I was not on guard duty, when I was not at the entrance

6 door, usually we would play soccer and we would clean up the place, sweep

7 it if something like that was required.

8 Q. Was this the last shift that you participated in for the military

9 part of the HVO before the conflict on the 16th of April, 1993?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Tell me, were village guards organised in your village?

12 A. Yes. In our village, there was an organised village guard.

13 Q. Tell me, please, could you say approximately when the village

14 guard was first established and when it started to operate?

15 A. In my village, in early 1992, that's when it started. I can't

16 remember the month though.

17 Q. Who organised the village guard?

18 A. The village guard was organised by us, the Croats and Muslims

19 together, the Bosniaks, rather.

20 Q. What was the task of this village guard? What was it supposed to

21 do?

22 A. During those first days, we organised joint village guards

23 together. Lots of people were coming in from other places, refugees,

24 expellees. There were lots of people who were not only expelled but who

25 were practically bandits, so we organised village guards so that there

Page 25650

1 would be no incursions into the village. That is why we organised this.

2 So that we would in this way enhance the security of the factory as well.

3 Practically both Croats and Muslims worked in terms of providing security

4 for the factory and for the village.

5 Q. Did you, the inhabitants of this village, have an interest in

6 contributing to the security of the factory?

7 A. But of course. That's where we worked. That's where we made our

8 living so of course it was in our interest.

9 Q. If there were to be an incident in the factory in the process of

10 production, would that affect your village as well?

11 A. Who does not know what is this -- in this factory does not know

12 what was there, but there was an atomic bomb that was in question.

13 Q. Thank you. Later, in 1992, did village guards remain multi-ethnic

14 or were they separated?

15 A. We, in Donja Veceriska, remained the way we were until October or

16 November when there were small incidents between Croats and Bosniaks.

17 Q. Were then village guards definitely separated or were there some

18 changes in this respect?

19 A. At one point, village guards were abolished totally. For a

20 certain period of time, neither we nor the Muslims had any village guards.

21 Q. Were you together for a while after that?

22 A. Well, for a while we were together, and then there was an incident

23 once again when, towards the end of 1992, we stopped the village guards

24 altogether.

25 Q. Among the Muslims in your opinion then, was there someone who was

Page 25651

1 to be blamed for these squabbles between the Muslims and the Croats?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Who was that?

4 A. There was a young man who came and who threw two hand grenades on

5 the village. That was why we stopped the village guards altogether. And

6 also the checkpoint at the entrance to the village was no longer a joint

7 one.

8 Q. When did that happened?

9 A. Towards end of 1992, I can't give you the month. It was November

10 or December. It was a long time ago, but it was between November and

11 December there's nothing else that was possible.

12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Could the registry please help me?

13 I would like to show the witness D44/2, please.

14 Q. Please take a look at this document. If you look at this

15 document, do you recognise one of the events that you mentioned when there

16 was supposed to be sort of a pacification of the village?

17 A. Can I read the whole document and then I'll tell you all about

18 it?

19 Q. Mr. Drmic, we don't have to go into all the details. You've seen

20 the document. You are aware of the period when this document was

21 written. Does this reflect one of the events when you want to bring about

22 a pacification?

23 A. I know this document. This is something that I took part in.

24 Approximately -- well, these were negotiations with the Bosniak side in

25 order to prevent larger scale conflicts. That's it.

Page 25652

1 Q. So these talks succeeded in this particular round.

2 A. In this particular round, the talks succeeded in part, in part.

3 Q. Another thing in relation to this document, could you please

4 explain to me the signature down here, and also the letterhead uses "The

5 Reserve Force of the HVO." What is this all about? Who was the reserve

6 force? Who did you call the reserve force?

7 A. I can't really say. All of this is unclear to me or these dates

8 are not clear to me.

9 Q. All right, Mr. Drmic. You are sure that this document was drafted

10 in the village after one of the rounds of negotiations you had with the

11 Bosniaks?

12 A. Yes, I'm sure about that.

13 Q. Very well. Thank you.

14 A. You're welcome.

15 Q. You mentioned a man who threw these hand grenades, Haskic. Do you

16 know where he ended up, how he ended up? What happened to him?

17 A. I heard that he ended up in the village of Kruscica, that he was

18 killed.

19 JUDGE MAY: Leading.

20 MR. NICE: Yes. I'm sorry, Your Honour.

21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, the witness did not mention Haskic. You

22 mentioned him. Could you please just restrict your questions to what he

23 said. "Who was the young man?" is the question you should have asked.

24 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I had the impression that

25 he mentioned the name of the family.

Page 25653


2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Lest there be any misunderstanding, Mr. Drmic: On the Bosniak

4 side, who figured prominently in terms of provoking incidents and

5 impairing the relations between the Croats and the Muslims in the village?

6 A. Part of the Haskics, an extremist part of the Haskic family.

7 Q. Are you referring to the Haskic family?

8 A. Well, it's a big family. It's a big family, consisting of 50 to

9 60 houses. There are so many of them. But they're all Haskics.

10 Q. Very well. Among them were there individuals who were extremists,

11 as you called it?

12 A. Yes, there were some individuals.

13 Q. Can you mention the names of two or three of them?

14 A. TF, if that means something to you.

15 Q. Sir, we can go into closed session or into private session if you

16 don't want to say this in public.

17 A. Well, you don't have to. Fehid Haskic.

18 Q. What is your assessment of him, of his attitude towards the Croats

19 and Croat/Muslim relations?

20 A. He was a young man who would stop at nothing. That is how I see

21 him.

22 Q. Just before the general conflict broke out, what were relations

23 like in that particular point in time? Were the relations peaceful or

24 were they at one of these points of tension?

25 A. There was relative quiet. One can say that the relations were

Page 25654

1 good. Because, as they say, there is chaff in every wheat, so what can I

2 say?

3 Q. Did you know anything before the conflict about places where there

4 was specially prepared military defence?

5 A. I knew about that. I saw it. It's not that big a village that

6 you can't see things. All our fields are right next to one another. In

7 some places where the Bosniaks were digging trenches, they were digging

8 fortifications --

9 Q. Did you know before the conflict began that there were weapons in

10 the village?

11 A. In the village? Well, I know that when we had these joint village

12 guards, that somebody would have a hunting gun or a pistol or some weapons

13 that were brought from Slimena when the Serbs left and also when weapons

14 were bought and sold. I mean, everybody would take a weapon for himself.

15 Q. Do you know where there were some larger stockpiles of weapons in

16 the village?

17 A. I knew that in the centre of the village that was predominantly

18 Muslim, in Mihad Haskic's house there is a storage space with weapons, and

19 his son was a commander of the BH army; not of the entire army, but of a

20 platoon.

21 Q. Where was this platoon stationed?

22 A. Everything was happening there, right in that house.

23 Q. In your village?

24 A. Yes, in our village.

25 Q. Mr. Drmic, where were you on the evening of the 15th in 1993, just

Page 25655

1 before the conflict broke out?

2 A. On the 15th I went to work at the factory, because I was supposed

3 to work in the night shift that started at 10.00 p.m. So I set out. And

4 Izet Haskic was working with me, so I passed by his house, I called out to

5 him, and we went to work together.

6 Q. All right. You said that you went to Izet Haskic's and then you

7 proceeded. Was this your customary pattern of behaviour?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Until that moment, had you heard anything that on the next day

10 there could be some conflicts?

11 A. I did not hear that. I did not know about that.

12 Q. Did you talk to Izet Haskic along the way?

13 A. Well, yes. Yes. We talked about our own stuff, insignificant.

14 Q. Did you perhaps get an impression or did he say something to the

15 effect that he knew what would happen?

16 A. Mr. Haskic did not know anything. I did not know anything. We

17 talked about our own stuff, quite insignificant.

18 Q. All right. What happened early in the morning?

19 A. Early morning we were not asleep. There was myself, Hrustic

20 Sabahudin.

21 Q. Excuse me.

22 A. And Boro Vidovic.

23 Q. Excuse me. I'm interrupting you. But these men you mentioned, if

24 I understand correctly -- I mean, in terms of ethnic composition, tell us

25 what these people are. How many Muslims are there and how many Croats?

Page 25656

1 A. Three to two.

2 Q. You mean three Muslims, two Croats?

3 A. Yes, that's right.

4 Q. And that was your shift?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. You were the leader of that shift?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. All right. So you heard shooting. And then what happened?

9 A. I went out. I heard some explosions. I went out to see what was

10 going on. And then, when I walked out, I went to the side where my

11 village was so that I could see what was going on. I was interested in

12 knowing what was going on with my family. I saw that something was sort

13 of on fire, or rather I saw smoke. And Izet Haskic followed me. We

14 talked and we were saying, "What is this?" And then we went back to the

15 seat of the fire brigade. And I said, "People, there's something wrong.

16 We can hear loud explosions."

17 I remember very well. You cannot forget things like that. There

18 was a bit of a drizzle, some rain, and I took boots out of the

19 firefighting vehicle and I said, "Guys --" I used a Bosnian word that we

20 tend to use for that, jarani, and I said, "I'm going home. There's some

21 smoke in my village and I'm going home," and I went home.

22 Q. Very well. Did you try in any other way to learn from other

23 sources what was going on, why this shelling was taking place?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. What did you do?

Page 25657

1 A. From the firehouse to my house I had to pass by the military

2 police. They were deployed there for reinforcing the security of the

3 factory, so I stopped by there. And they were also surprised about what

4 was going on. I asked them, since I knew them, we knew each other, I knew

5 them and I asked them and they said they didn't know anything. And that's

6 where our conversation ended. I did not continue to talk to them.

7 Instead, I continued on home.

8 Q. Mr. Drmic, if I understood you correctly, a military police unit

9 was stationed in one of the building structures of the factory?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. How far was that from where you were stationed?

12 A. About 50 to 60 metres.

13 Q. How large was that military police unit approximately?

14 A. No more than 20 men.

15 Q. How long had they been there?

16 A. I cannot tell you exactly how many months they had been there, but

17 they had arrived in mid-1992; June, July, I cannot tell you exactly.

18 Q. Do you know what their task was, why they were deployed there?

19 A. I know that they were there in order to reinforce the security of

20 the factory.

21 Q. Was this unit composed of local men, men whom you knew from before

22 or men whom you came to know during that period?

23 A. I had not known these people, but I came to know them during that

24 period. They were mostly men who had come from elsewhere.

25 Q. After that conversation with them, we should describe, you said

Page 25658

1 that you pressed on?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. What happened to you on the way to the village?

4 A. I just walked down the road, of course, but I saw that things were

5 not normal anymore, and there was shooting as I was passing by. Nobody

6 could recognise me, but from where the fire was coming, that was all

7 Bosniaks houses. I don't know whether they were shooting at me, because I

8 don't think they could recognise me from that distance.

9 Q. Was it still dark at that time?

10 A. It was raining so it wasn't fully visible.

11 Q. From which side, if you look at the map, were you approaching the

12 village?

13 A. I was walking -- if I was to reach the -- my house, it would be

14 more from the east, but because of the shooting and everything, I came

15 from the southern side.

16 Q. Did you meet anyone and where?

17 A. At first, I met a man who worked for the waterworks. We exchanged

18 a few words. He was also beside himself. He did not know anything.

19 There were some guards who were there with him and he said that they had

20 scattered.

21 Q. The man who worked for the waterworks, who is that?

22 A. That's the late Ivo Krizanovic, if that means anything to you.

23 Q. Was that one of your co-workers from the factory?

24 A. Yes, he worked there.

25 Q. And he worked in the same village?

Page 25659













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Page 25660

1 A. He lived in the village of Gacice, but doesn't live there anymore

2 because he was killed.

3 Q. So you only talked to him?

4 A. I only talked to him and then I continued home, but I took a

5 longer time to get there. I arrived in the village. There were locals

6 there at the entrance to the village, about ten of them. I asked them

7 what was going on, and they said that there was a war. And I asked what

8 was with the women and children, and they said that they had been moved to

9 Gornja Veceriska.

10 Q. You said -- how many people were there whom you met?

11 A. About ten from Donja Veceriska and there were men among them whom

12 I did not recognise at the time. They were all wearing camouflage

13 uniforms. They also wore masks.

14 Q. Let us make this perfectly clear, about ten persons to whom you

15 referred. Did you recognise all of them as your neighbours?

16 A. Of course I did.

17 Q. And these men, were these men -- had these men previously been

18 involved in village guards, village watches?

19 A. Yes. There were even some men who were a bit older, and some of

20 those had left with their families to Gornja Veceriska. But then there

21 were younger ones who were also involved in shifts going to the front

22 lines facing the Serbs.

23 Q. You also mentioned men in camouflage uniforms. Who were those men

24 and had you known them before?

25 A. No, I did not know them.

Page 25661

1 Q. Perhaps we should just go -- take it step by step. First of all,

2 how many were they?

3 JUDGE MAY: He said about ten, you needn't go into this detail or

4 repeat it. He's given us the picture. He said there were about ten.

5 Some were in camouflage uniforms -- please don't interrupt. Some in

6 camouflage uniforms and masks, and some he's also described.

7 Now, let us just keep to the broad picture.

8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Of the people who were there, how many were wearing camouflage

10 uniforms?

11 A. 12 to 15.

12 Q. And had you known them from before?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Did they have any insignia which would enable you to identify

15 them?

16 A. At that time, no. They had some insignia, but those were not

17 insignia that I could recognise.

18 Q. Did you learn later who these men were?

19 A. Yes. Later on, I learned that these were the Tvertkovci.

20 Q. Did you find out who the so-called Tvertkovci were?

21 A. The Tvertkovci were mostly men from Travnik who had been driven

22 out of there. That is what I know about them.

23 Q. Did you have a conversation or was there a conversation going on

24 with these men in which you took part?

25 A. I specifically did not take part in the conversation, but I

Page 25662

1 overheard it. By the time I got there, they already had learned

2 something. They wanted to find out where the Bosnians had their dugouts

3 and where Midhat Haskic's house was because apparently everything was in

4 that house.

5 Q. Was anybody using a map during this conversation?

6 A. One of the gentlemen there had a map of the Vitez municipality.

7 The village of Donja Veceriska was highlighted, and they were asking about

8 certain houses.

9 Q. Now who was holding this map?

10 A. One of the Tvertkovci. He was probably the commander too, because

11 he had this map in his hands.

12 Q. What did you do then, you personally, where did you go?

13 A. In fact, they told us you are going to go to the opposite side of

14 the village, and he said, "We're going to go and carry out our own task."

15 And we went to the western side -- west side of the village to -- I'm not

16 a military strategist or anything, but I think that we were going to

17 protect their backs.

18 Q. From that side of the village, were you able to control the

19 entrance to the village from certain directions?

20 A. All we could do there was control a potential advance of the

21 Muslims. The entrance to the village was closed by the Muslims.

22 Q. Were there any trenches that had been dug previously?

23 A. Yes, the trenches had been dug.

24 Q. Whose trenches?

25 A. Muslim trenches because it was their land.

Page 25663

1 Q. Did you previously dig your trenches?

2 A. No.

3 Q. In the area where you were, on the west side of the village, was

4 there any attempt to break through?

5 A. No.

6 Q. Did you hear or see when and where the fighting in the village,

7 itself, started?

8 A. I could not see it. I was on the other side of the village, but I

9 could hear it. I could hear shooting.

10 Q. Did fighting then break out in the village?

11 A. Yes, it did.

12 Q. And from what you could see and learn, what happened during that

13 first day of fighting in the village? What was the result?

14 A. In the evening, I learned that Bosniaks were expelled from about

15 10 to 15 houses and that everything came to a stop, to a halt at Midhat

16 Haskic's house.

17 Q. After it grew dark, did the fighting continue?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Mr. Drmic, during that first day of fighting, from whenever it

20 started until dark, from what you heard, either at the time when things

21 were going on or later through conversations, was this fighting where both

22 sides were exchanging fire or did one side attack the other?

23 A. From what I know, there were wounded people there so fighting was

24 mutual. Both sides fought.

25 Q. The place or the location in the village where you said that the

Page 25664

1 Tvertkovci managed to advance and then were stopped, what was that part of

2 the village called?

3 A. That was called Masiceve Kuce.

4 Q. This is where they were stopped?

5 A. This is what I heard that night.

6 Q. What happened the next day, the 17th of April?

7 A. In the morning of the 17th of April the fighting continued around

8 there. I personally came to my house. My house was right next to the

9 Muslim houses. I had some pigs there so I wanted to feed them.

10 Q. And what happened there?

11 A. Dragan Sapina was wounded there.

12 Q. From which direction did the bullet come?

13 A. He was hit by a sniper bullet.

14 Q. When you arrived in your yard, was there any fighting in that part

15 of the village going on?

16 A. The village is not too big but not too small either, and nothing

17 had been burned around my house. But you could see from there, from that

18 vantage point, that some houses farther afield had been burnt.

19 Q. But when you came there, was there any active fighting going on

20 there?

21 A. No. The fighting was down near Masiceve kuce. Now, this is on

22 the 17th.

23 Q. But not around your house?

24 A. That would have been about a hundred metres away from my house.

25 Q. Were you able to estimate where this bullet came from that hit

Page 25665

1 Dragan Sapina?

2 A. From what we could tell, it could have only come from the lower

3 parts, which means the Muslim houses.

4 Q. After these two days of fighting, these two days of conflict, were

5 there any Croats killed?

6 A. Yes. A member of Tvrtkovci was killed. I don't know his name.

7 And Ivo Miskovic was killed. His brother lost his leg to a shell and two

8 additional shells injured seriously another two persons in the centre of

9 the village.

10 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps the witness could be shown

11 Z2810, which was introduced with the so-called Spork binders. And we

12 can -- and it was pertaining to Ivica Drmic.

13 Q. Mr. Drmic, can you please look at this certificate. Is what is

14 stated in this certificate true?

15 A. On 17 April 1993 such-and-such a person was wounded.

16 Q. Is this the person you mentioned?

17 A. Yes, it is.

18 Q. And you witnessed this incident, this wounding?

19 A. As is stated here, I was a witness of this incident.

20 Q. Perhaps I can use this opportunity to ask you something else. You

21 see when this certificate was issued?

22 A. On 3 December 1994, by Kasimir Velic [phoen] or Volic.

23 Q. Did you know this man?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And do you recognise the unit that is mentioned in the heading?

Page 25666

1 A. No, I do not.

2 Q. Did you know anything about that at the time of the wounding?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Do you know anything about the 92nd Regiment?

5 A. At that time I think it was not even established. Actually, I

6 don't think -- I know it was not in existence at that time.

7 Q. Can you tell me: During the first day of fighting, did UNPROFOR

8 patrols enter the village?

9 A. During both days they arrived in tanks and they went through the

10 village three or four times.

11 Q. And when did the fighting stop? We were talking last about the

12 17th. What happened after that, the following night?

13 A. On the following night there was no fighting, but during the night

14 of the 17th we could again hear tanks and APCs. But this is all we could

15 hear, so we knew that they had been in the village.

16 Q. The following morning you entered the village?

17 A. No, we did not enter the village, but Tvrtkovci entered the Muslim

18 part of the village.

19 Q. And you followed after that?

20 A. That would have been close to noon, 11.00 or 12.00, maybe even

21 1.00. We came in and we found nine civilians who were of Bosniak ethnic

22 background. We found them in their houses. I took three women and drove

23 them to Gornja Veceriska. I knew them well. I knew everybody there. But

24 I could only fit three in my car, and I took them to Gornja Veceriska.

25 Q. What happened to the other civilians?

Page 25667

1 A. They were also taken in a van to Gornja Veceriska.

2 Q. And what happened to them up there?

3 A. For the most part, they had someone that they knew up there. The

4 three persons that I took there were accommodated with some of their

5 acquaintances, and the remaining six were placed in a school in Gornja

6 Veceriska.

7 Q. We skipped one thing. You said that around noon you entered the

8 village. Do you know where the Bosniak members of the TO went? Where

9 were they now?

10 A. That evening we heard that they had been transferred to the Dutch

11 base in the village of Divjak. That's where they were taken. And from

12 there they most probably transferred to Zenica.

13 Q. Now, who transferred them there? How did they arrive in the Dutch

14 base?

15 A. They probably took them in APCs. There's only three kilometres

16 from Veceriska to Divjak. Or maybe they went on foot that night or they

17 were transferred there in APCs.

18 Q. By whom?

19 A. By the Dutch battalion.

20 Q. Did you find any weapons which they had left behind?

21 A. There were some grenades, there were a lot of explosives.

22 Q. Did you hear anything about some weapons which were found in front

23 of the Dutch base at Divjak?

24 A. Yes. I heard from the local inhabitants who live right by there

25 where the Dutch base was that they had -- that these weapons were taken

Page 25668

1 away from them and most probably destroyed.

2 Q. Who took weapons from whom?

3 A. From the Muslims.

4 Q. You mean the Muslims who came to the Dutch base from your village?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. You said that even you personally helped take those civilians to

7 Gornja Veceriska. Did you have any contact with those people the next

8 day?

9 A. The next day -- in fact, it was a bit longer. Three or four days

10 later those civilians were transferred to Vitez. In fact, some families

11 who had their sons and relatives who lived in town, these civilians came

12 and simply just took them with them. I don't know where they took them,

13 but they were taken. Their families came for them. For the most part,

14 these were elderly people.

15 Q. Mr. Drmic, during those two days of fighting in the village,

16 according to the information in your possession, were any Muslim civilians

17 killed in the village?

18 A. At that time I did not know. I knew that one Bosniak was killed

19 in the course of those two days, and for the rest of them, I did not

20 know.

21 Q. How about later, did you hear anything about it later?

22 A. Later, yes, I heard about that later.

23 Q. And what did you hear? How many people were killed, do you have

24 any idea?

25 A. I don't know even to date.

Page 25669

1 Q. Very well. Did you hear that general mobilisation was called in

2 the municipality of Vitez?

3 A. General mobilisation. Again, let me say personally, I did not

4 hear about it, but after I was brought back to the factory to my old job

5 four days later, I heard that the general mobilisation had been called. I

6 don't know whether this was on the 25th. I cannot specify the date.

7 Between the 25th and the 30th. In that period of time, I heard about the

8 general mobilisation.

9 Q. What did that mean specifically for you?

10 A. For -- to me, it meant nothing because I just went back to my job

11 and I was doing my job as before the conflict between the Croats and

12 Muslims.

13 Q. Were you duty-bound to go back to that job?

14 A. I had a specific duty because this was my regular employment.

15 This is how I made my living.

16 Q. But was your work duty also to be there?

17 A. Yes. My work duty assigned to me was to stay in the job which I

18 did on a regular basis.

19 Q. So you continued in the same job?

20 A. Yes, I continued in the same job but no longer with the same

21 people.

22 Q. Were there any changes in the administration of your company? Did

23 new people arrive who -- in the management?

24 A. Yes, but I don't know exactly the time. To me, only my own boss

25 was important and he was the old boss whom I had had before.

Page 25670

1 Q. And who was this?

2 A. This is the old manager, Nikola Krizanovic.

3 Q. So he was your direct superior?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Mr. Drmic, you continued to live in Donja Veceriska throughout the

6 war?

7 A. Yes. I continued to live there until 1994, April 1994, and then I

8 moved to Vitez.

9 Q. Mr. Drmic, from your daily visits to the village, do you know that

10 there was a pressure exerted against the village by the ABiH throughout

11 that period?

12 A. There was shelling of the village itself on several occasions,

13 then the factory was shelled a few times, but all this was -- they knew

14 themselves that it was very dangerous to shell the factory, but there were

15 some infantry attacks against the factory.

16 Q. Would you be able to single out any significant offensive on the

17 village that summer?

18 A. There was shelling, but I can't really give you the month. But

19 yes, there were.

20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the registry to show the

21 document D121/1 which is a milinfosum number 72 dated 10th of July, 1993.

22 Q. Mr. Drmic, you will see a document, but I shall read a few

23 sentences to you because the document is in English and you will then tell

24 us if what it says is correct and whether you remember it or not.

25 MR. KOVACIC: [In English] On the next page I think there is a

Page 25671

1 title, Veceriska. [Interpretation] No, no, this does not seem the

2 document or I simply can't find it or perhaps somewhere lower down. [In

3 English] No, no, I should go back on Vitez. [Interpretation] Yes, yes,

4 the last line.

5 Q. The last line on this page, item 8A, it says, "BH army 82

6 millimetre mortaring of Vitez town, Donja Veceriska and Gacice." This is

7 a report of the 10th of July. Do you recall any more intensive shelling

8 of your village at that time?

9 A. Well, could be, could be about that time. I do recall, that is I

10 don't recall the date. Of course I don't recall the date. I don't recall

11 the month either, but it was summer. That I'm sure about.

12 Q. Would you recall if there were several such offensives that

13 summer?

14 A. I do recall the shelling. I do recall infantry attacks of the

15 plant, and therefore the village of Donja Veceriska.

16 Q. Very well. Mr. Drmic, did you have a friend called Mato Saric?

17 A. Yes, I did.

18 MR. KOVACIC: We can remove this document. It won't be used

19 anymore.

20 Q. [Interpretation] And do you remember what happened to him in the

21 summer of 1993 and when was that?

22 A. I remember, yes. And later on, from stories that Mato was offered

23 to fell some wood. He had -- he owned a tractor and he set off towards

24 Zabrdje to fell some wood, and then the units or the formations of the BH

25 army captured him. And that he was taken to the village of Kruscica, and

Page 25672

1 that he suffered bodily injuries and he is still smarting from them until

2 this day.

3 Q. And this friend of yours, this Mato Saric, was he a soldier at the

4 time that he was arrested or was he a civilian?

5 A. Mato Saric was a member of the labour platoon and a soldier, he --

6 no, it's not that he couldn't be. He could be, but he is slightly deaf.

7 No, he is quite deaf, if you get my meaning.

8 Q. You mean he is hard of hearing?

9 A. Yes, he is a bit hard of hearing, and that is where he was sent to

10 labour platoon rather than --

11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, it's a small detail and can be dealt with

12 very quickly.

13 MR. KOVACIC: Okay. I'm done.

14 Q. [Interpretation] And did you hear from him, how was he treated

15 while in captivity?

16 A. He suffered hard -- I mean hard treatment because he was

17 maltreated and beaten.

18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, I have no further

19 questions. Thank you, Mr. Drmic. [In English] I should notice that there

20 was an affidavit on that accident with Mr. Mato Saric.

21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

22 Mr. Kordic's Defence has no questions to ask of this witness.

23 MR. NICE: I'm afraid the desk is not sufficient for the papers I

24 have to use on an occasion like this but I'll do my best. Perhaps the

25 witness can first of all have the map just to remind us, and then that's

Page 25673

1 one less document on my desk.

2 [Trial Chamber confers]

3 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:

4 Q. Just to remind us a little bit further over to the right a bit, I

5 think, we can see the factory there lying between Donja Veceriska and

6 Vitez. If we can bring the map down just a little bit further so we can

7 see the road to the north.

8 Would this be correct, Mr. Drmic, that the way into Donja

9 Veceriska is to take the road out of Vitez that we can see running right

10 to left on the screen, and then you take a left turn and you wind your way

11 up to Donja Veceriska, which is actually on a slight rise, slightly above

12 the surrounding countryside?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Now, if you'd look at the map. You've described yourself going

15 back to the factory gates from time to time, or back to the factory. It's

16 not clear from this map whether there's some other entry into the factory

17 other than the one towards the main road. Can you just trace on the map,

18 if you can follow the map -- and you'll have to do it on the overhead

19 projector -- the route you walked when you walked to the factory gates or

20 to the factory? Can you do it on the overhead? The usher will show you.

21 A. This is the main entrance to the factory and the main gate. But

22 we had another gate here.

23 Q. Right.

24 A. And there's the village of Gacice here, another gate. And then

25 there are three gates leading into the factory.

Page 25674













13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English

14 and French transcripts.












Page 25675

1 Q. You described yourself going there on the evening of the 15th and

2 then I think in the course of the night. Which gate do you say you were

3 going to on those occasions?

4 A. We went through this gate, to Donja Veceriska.

5 Q. Very well. While we're looking at the map -- and it may be that a

6 smaller pointer, if you can use a pencil or something like that, it may

7 help us. Can you point out roughly where your own house was there,

8 please, without marking the map. Just point it out.

9 A. No, no.

10 Q. Thank you very much. So that's pretty much on the principal

11 street of the village, isn't it, as you come off the main road?

12 A. Yes, it is.

13 Q. Thank you. I want to deal with a few things in chronological

14 order before we come to the events with which we are principally

15 concerned. But what's obvious is this: that this factory was a matter of

16 great importance to Vitez, wasn't it?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. It was of very great importance to the HVO?

19 A. Not only the HVO, but the BH army as well.

20 Q. It was important to any army in the area, because it was an

21 armaments factory.

22 A. It was important -- it was most important to people living there.

23 Q. You made some reference -- I don't know if it was lighthearted or

24 otherwise -- to an atomic bomb, but can you just explain that before we

25 move on? Was it a lighthearted reference or was it a serious reference?

Page 25676

1 A. It was very serious, because there are several thousand tonnes of

2 all sorts of acids, not to mention explosives and gunpowders.

3 Q. Yes. Thank you for that explanation. It was -- I understand

4 now.

5 A. Not at all.

6 Q. When you say "several thousand tonnes of acid," the acid was near

7 to the village and -- just give me one minute. If it were to be suggested

8 that there were some -- well, at least 700 tonnes of acid near to the

9 villages, you wouldn't disagree with that, would you?

10 A. And why should I disagree when that is the real truth and it is a

11 fact that there is as much of it there?

12 Q. In the autumn of 1992 there were HVO forces making their presence

13 felt in the village, and these forces came from Herzegovina; would that be

14 about right?

15 A. Personally, I do not know, and I did not see them show around, but

16 the story went that some guys from Herzegovina came into Vitez and that

17 they almost looted and did all sorts of bad things.

18 Q. But I'm more concerned with the security of the factory itself.

19 The factory was rather run down, in production terms, by the end of 1992,

20 wasn't it?

21 A. Relatively, yes.

22 Q. Its own security staff were laid off or not required to attend,

23 and we've heard evidence that the security was now perhaps dealt with by

24 these HVO forces from Herzegovina. Do you remember that?

25 A. I don't, and that's not how it was.

Page 25677

1 Q. Were you going into work yourself in the fall, in the autumn of

2 1992, or was production so low that you were staying at home?

3 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I'm not employed in the production and I do not go

4 there because of the production; I go there because of the security of the

5 factory.

6 Q. Well, then -- exactly, and going in the door you were going in,

7 you no doubt would have encountered security staff somewhere. Was there a

8 change in the security staff?

9 A. No change occurred until the morning of the 16th of April -- no,

10 March 1993.

11 MR. NICE: And I'm dealing with -- this evidence is from Witness

12 V, for the Court's assistance.

13 Q. There was another incident at the end of 1992 where the religious

14 school in Donja Veceriska was attacked by perpetrators who were never

15 discovered. Do you remember that? I think gunfire was released onto the

16 school.

17 A. There is not a single religious school in Donja Veceriska.

18 Q. The term "mehteb" has been used. It may or may not be the

19 appropriate word, but that's the word that's been used. Was one of those

20 there?

21 A. In Donja Veceriska there is a mehteb, but that is one thing and a

22 school is another thing. And the third place is a house of worship where

23 Muslims pray.

24 Q. A mehteb was attacked in the end of 1993 [sic] by bullets. Do you

25 recall that?

Page 25678

1 A. I do recall that the mehteb was blown up; that is, to put it

2 simply, demolished.

3 MR. NICE: If I said "1993," it was my mistake. It was 1992, and

4 I think the witness has acknowledged that.

5 Q. You knew a man called Mile Vinac?

6 A. I do.

7 Q. What was his position in the village?

8 A. Decent man. I don't really [as interpreted] what your question

9 means.

10 Q. Well, did he have any particular position in relation to village

11 guards or matters of that sort?

12 A. Mile Vinac worked -- what do you call it? -- read those maps,

13 military or air maps. I don't know what you call it. But he did it for

14 the former JNA, when the JNA shelled the village, not only the village,

15 but the factory and everything else, and he monitored those flights.

16 Q. That's after the fighting had started, is that right or was

17 that -- I see, this is the JNA shelling. So he was useful with maps, was

18 he?

19 A. Well, the man did it in the JNA.

20 Q. Well, we, of course, know that by this time, by 1992, 1993, the

21 HVO was in charge in Vitez. Did he do that sort of service for the HVO as

22 well, work with maps?

23 A. I don't know if it was the HVO government in Vitez. As far as I

24 know it wasn't the HVO government in Vitez and right up to that

25 conflict --

Page 25679

1 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to --

2 A. The functions were shared.

3 JUDGE MAY: -- there's no need to argue the point. Mr. Nice can

4 you put these matters in as neutral way as possible in order to move on.

5 MR. NICE: Yes.

6 Q. There's one other point about Vinac. Did you know the man Dario

7 Kordic?

8 A. I know the name. I do not know him.

9 Q. Well, did you know him by sight?

10 A. By sight, I -- well, I knew him. I think we are more or less of

11 the same age, and Busovaca and Vitez are not all that far away from each

12 other not to know people by sight.

13 Q. Did you see him in your village?

14 A. In the village of Donja Veceriska, Dario Kordic never came to that

15 village.

16 Q. [Microphone not activated] ... you can't say that, can you. I was

17 asking you whether you saw him there and you haven't answered.

18 A. I did not see him. I'm only speaking for myself.

19 Q. And as far as the man Vinac is concerned, if he said something or

20 if he's found in due course to have said something, would you expect it to

21 be accurate and reliable or was he a man ever prone to exaggeration, which

22 do you think?

23 A. About Mr. Vinac, I cannot say anything because I do not know what

24 he said or whether he said anything and what he says --

25 Q. I'll take that no further. We'll move on. The -- perhaps I

Page 25680

1 better deal with this now. I'm grateful to Mr. Lopez-Terres.

2 Ivica Drmic, by the end of 1992, what function did he have in your

3 village?

4 A. In my village, there are three Ivica Drmics.

5 Q. The one who had a function in -- a military function or a guard

6 function at your village.

7 A. All of us had to have the duty to patrol the village, go up and

8 down the village, and the three of them had the same duty.

9 Q. But was Ivica Drmic, was there an Ivica Drmic who had a higher

10 rank who, in due course, was to become something in the nature of a

11 commander in your village. Can you think about that, please?

12 A. I know Ivica Drmic, later on a master of war, but there is another

13 Ivica Drmic, and I know a third Ivica Drmic because there are three Ivica

14 Drmics in the village.

15 Q. I'll come back to Ivica Drmic in a few questions' time, but let's

16 now come to the night of the 15th, 16th of April. We've seen the map.

17 You went to work and you came home from work at what time?

18 A. In the morning around half past 7.00.

19 Q. By -- so that's half past 7.00 on the 15th or half past 7.00 on

20 the 16th?

21 A. In the morning -- if the attack of the army was on the 16th, then

22 it means on the 16th at half past 7.00 or thereabouts I was in the

23 village.

24 Q. Now, you're talking about the attack of the army. And as I had

25 understood your evidence to Mr. Kovacic, you were talking about a group of

Page 25681

1 soldiers called the Tvertkovci or whatever the proper pronunciation is,

2 weren't you? You were talking about the Tvertkovci?

3 A. Tvertkovci, yes.

4 Q. And I'm not quite sure I understand in summary what your evidence

5 was. You speak and you only speak of that group of soldiers mounting an

6 attack in the early morning; would that be correct?

7 A. I do not know whether they launched that attack. I know that when

8 I came to the village. I found them there.

9 Q. And we can see from the map that although distances are small,

10 Donja Veceriska is, to some degree, isolated, it's not isolated, it's

11 separate from the other communities. It's self-contained?

12 A. No. There is Mosunj, Gornja Veceriska, Gacice, Zaselje they are

13 all villages gravitating towards Donja Veceriska because so that they are

14 not on this map because this is not a good map.

15 Q. When you found these men, as you say, attacking people, they were,

16 of course, attacking Muslims, weren't they?

17 A. I did not see.

18 Q. You saw the results of what they did and you saw the people who

19 were killed, and it's a very small community. Your evidence is, is it

20 not, that they were attacking Muslims?

21 A. No, that was not my evidence nor is my statement such. I did not

22 see them attack, nor did I see them cause casualties. I said that I heard

23 about one civilian victim.

24 Q. Of course there weren't so very many Croats for them to attack,

25 were there, because they'd left the night before, hadn't they?

Page 25682

1 A. I did not know. I came at half past 7.00 in the morning, and I do

2 not know whether they wanted to attack Croats or whether Croats wanted to

3 attack them. And I'm not saying that. You are trying to make me say

4 that, but I am not testifying about that and I'm not talking about that.

5 Q. So you found yourself that night in the position of being

6 effectively a party to the cleansing of the village. Whether you enjoyed

7 that or not, that's what you found yourself being a party to, wasn't it?

8 A. No.

9 MR. NICE: I don't know if the Court is taking the normal time for

10 its break this morning.

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we will. We will adjourn now. We shall be

12 sitting today from 11.30 until 12.30. It would be helpful if, during

13 that, you could wind up your cross-examination.

14 MR. NICE: I will certainly do my very best, without a doubt.

15 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. And then we could get on to the other

16 witness, because we shall only have one session this afternoon. That will

17 be from 2.15 until 3.45.

18 Mr. Drmic, we're going to adjourn now for half an hour. Would you

19 be back, please, at half past 11.00. Would you remember during the

20 adjournment not to speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over.

21 That includes members of the Defence team. Thank you. We'll adjourn.

22 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.

23 --- On resuming at 11.33 a.m.

24 MR. NICE:

25 Q. A little backtracking, Mr. Drmic, and then I'll be able to put

Page 25683

1 everything else in chronological sequence. You were, I think, a member of

2 the HDZ party, weren't you?

3 A. No, I was not. I was only a supporter.

4 Q. Very well. Well, we may take time with that later. But you told

5 us, I think, that you were involved in going both to Vlasic, and also were

6 you involved in the incident at the Slimena barracks in May of 1992?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. In Slimena you were involved, therefore, in getting weapons out of

9 the barracks, were you?

10 A. No. That's not exactly the way it was. I came up there by car in

11 order to take part in taking the barracks.

12 Q. Cerkez was there as well, wasn't he, with his troops?

13 A. I did not see him.

14 Q. Didn't you?

15 MR. NICE: May the witness see his own exhibit again, D44/2, just

16 very briefly.

17 Q. When we looked at this before -- if we look at the title, please,

18 right at the top, "Croatian Defence Council Reserve Force," which is on

19 the top of this document that you put in. I think you were about to offer

20 some explanation for it, or maybe not. But tell us, what does that title

21 mean?

22 A. "The Republic of Herzegovina, Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,

23 Vitez Croatian Defence Council, Croatian Defence Council Reserve Force,

24 Donja Veceriska." Now, what are you interested in exactly?

25 Q. I asked you: What does the phrase "reserve force" mean? What's

Page 25684

1 this title all about, please?

2 A. I wouldn't know what to say to you what this reserve force means,

3 but I know it means something. Well, it's simply the way it is, reserve

4 force. Well, more or less -- well, these were -- these were reserve

5 village guards. That's the way I would understand it: village guards,

6 reserve village --

7 Q. Well, we see a couple more references. Just very briefly,

8 paragraph 4 speaks of the reserve units establishing control over

9 extremists. Paragraph 5, the reserve force doing everything to prevent

10 Donja Veceriska from becoming a crossroads. Would it be reasonable to

11 distinguish reserve forces from active forces? Would that be reasonable?

12 A. I think that reserve even includes the Muslim forces -- I mean,

13 not forces, but villagers who would take part in controlling the

14 village -- and extremist persons from -- control over extremist persons

15 from both ethnic groups.

16 Q. But are you saying, just so that I can understand it -- and it's a

17 piece of paper you've produced, you see. Are you saying that the reserve

18 forces are the same as the village guards, or is this something different?

19 A. The same. The same. It's the same people, like the village

20 guards. But it was not logical to say "village guards." Reserve forces.

21 Q. I see.

22 A. Because both peoples are referred to here.

23 Q. But this isn't an identified number of soldiers or anything of

24 that sort. It's different. This is just the reserve people in the

25 village, is that right, the guards in the village, both sides?

Page 25685

1 A. Yes. I did not understand your question at all.

2 JUDGE MAY: I don't think we're going to get much further.

3 MR. NICE: I'm moving to another document, if I may. Exhibit 653,

4 please.

5 Q. This is another document that we'd like your help with. You may

6 not have seen it before, but it comes from a period of time shortly before

7 the outbreak of violence, the 14th of April. And if you'd look at the

8 original, and if we go down to the bottom, it's the Viteska Brigade under

9 commander Ivica Drmic. And it speaks here of the 3rd Company with 12

10 soldiers from Gornja Veceriska. Can you help us at all with that, a

11 neighbouring village?

12 A. I can't tell you a thing. I have nothing to do with Gornja

13 Veceriska. I am from Donja Veceriska.

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. It has nothing to do with Gornja Veceriska.

16 Q. It's just shown on the map, if we were to look at it, just, as you

17 said, a few hundred metres off to the left.

18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Drmic, do you want the Trial Chamber to accept

19 that you know nothing about Gornja Veceriska, your local nearby village?

20 Is that what you're really saying?

21 A. No, I'm not saying that. But Gornja Veceriska is four kilometres

22 away. I don't know about this figure of 12. I can't tell you anything

23 about that.

24 MR. NICE:

25 Q. But from what we can judge, Mr. Drmic, the listing of soldiers in

Page 25686

1 Gornja Veceriska here under Ivica Drmic is obviously not a listing of

2 something like the village guards, is it? It's something entirely

3 different. It must be.

4 A. I don't know.

5 Q. Well, you've told us that the village guards were from both sides,

6 Muslims and Croats. They are the same as the reserve. It's my last

7 question on this topic. If you can't help us, we're going to move on. A

8 listing of soldiers of the 3rd Company of Ivica Drmic is not village

9 guards, it's not reserves, is it?

10 A. Sir, you keep asking me about Gornja Veceriska all the time. I

11 live in Donja Veceriska, and I'm not interested in that question.

12 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter whether you are interested in it or

13 not. This Court is. Now, did you know of a group of HVO soldiers in

14 April 1993 in Gornja Veceriska; yes or no?

15 A. No.

16 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

17 MR. NICE:

18 Q. Ivica Drmic whose name is on the screen, is he a relation of

19 yours?

20 A. I have three relations named Ivica Drmic, three.

21 Q. I think you referred, unless I'm wrong, to the Ivica Drmic I was

22 speaking of earlier or possibly Mr. Kovacic was speaking of as master of

23 war. Do you remember using such an expression, if I'm right about that,

24 something like that, because that's the one I'm interested in?

25 A. Ivica Drmic is a relation of mine. He has an MA, a master's

Page 25687

1 degree.

2 Q. I see. In warfare. Is he the one that's mentioned here as the

3 commander of the 3rd Battalion of the Viteska Brigade. You must know.

4 It's a tiny village. Is this the one we're talking about?

5 A. I'm talking about Ivica Drmic who has a master's degree. You

6 asked me about him. I don't know whether this name is that one, but the

7 Ivica Drmic I told you about who has a master's degree, I mentioned three

8 to you so I don't know which one.

9 Q. Let's locate one. The son of Mirko, that's the one we're

10 interested in. Now, is it the son of Mirko who has the master's degree in

11 warfare?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Tell us about the one who is the son of Mirko then. He's a

14 relation of yours.

15 A. No.

16 Q. Did he have a military function at about this time as commander of

17 the 3rd Company?

18 A. All of us were on the village watches, and Ivica Drmic, I don't

19 know what post he had then. There was no company then. These were

20 village guards, and that's what I am telling you about because that's what

21 I know about. But I don't know about companies.

22 Q. I'm going to move on because either you can't or you won't help

23 me, but just let me understand this before I do move on. You know

24 perfectly well who I'm speaking of when I speak of Ivica Drmic, son of

25 Mirko, don't you? There's one man, and you know who I'm speaking about,

Page 25688

1 don't you?

2 A. No.

3 Q. I may come back to that but time is short. I'm going to ask you

4 to look at a new document, 657.2. You've told us about mobilisation.

5 When do you say you were first aware of any mobilisation?

6 A. Around the 24th, between the 24th and 30th, that is March 1993.

7 That's what I said.

8 Q. I see. I may have misunderstood you, but I thought you were

9 saying something about mobilisation in April of 1993. Would that be quite

10 wrong?

11 A. No, I did not say that or I do not recall. But no, I didn't say

12 it. As for general mobilisation, I know about that from the 25th until

13 the 30th of March, 1993.

14 Q. I see.

15 A. The war started on the 16th, that is to say, only about ten days

16 later, when I came to the factory.

17 JUDGE MAY: April. April is when the war started, and what you

18 said was that the mobilisation took place between the 25th and the 30th of

19 April. That was your evidence, Mr. Drmic.

20 MR. NICE:

21 Q. We've heard what you said so far today. Can you think back and

22 just see if you can decide when it was that you think mobilisation

23 occurred?

24 A. To tell you the truth, I really do not understand your question

25 now. This is what I've been saying. There was a conflict between the

Page 25689













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14 and French transcripts.












Page 25690

1 Croats and the Muslims on the 16th or -- rather the 17th and the 16th, but

2 I came to the factory, and then people started talking about mobilisation,

3 general mobilisation for all --

4 JUDGE MAY: That's what you've said, but that was in April.

5 Yes. Now, let's move on.


7 Q. Let's look at this document, shall we? This is a document, I'm

8 not suggesting you've seen it, perhaps you have, I want to know what your

9 comment is on it.

10 JUDGE MAY: The source, please.

11 MR. NICE: Zagreb.

12 Q. 15th, I think, 15th of April, 1993, in the evening at half past

13 6.00. Central Bosnia Operative Zone urgent, and it goes to a number of

14 groups which you can see listed starting with the Stjepan Tomasevic in

15 Novi Travnik, including the Vitez Brigade and then independent units.

16 There's no reference there to the Tvert group unit, and it says, "Because

17 of a deterioration of the security situation in Central Bosnia Operative

18 Zones area of responsibility, I order immediately to carry out a full

19 mobilisation of all members from the strengths of brigades and independent

20 units in Central Bosnia." At number five, the order enters into immediate

21 force with brigade commanders to be personally responsible. And number

22 six, for those brigade commanders to send a report of the implementation

23 of this order to this command on the 16th by 10.00 in the morning.

24 So this is a different mobilisation from any of the dates or times

25 you've spoken of. Think back, please. Were you aware that there had, in

Page 25691

1 fact, been a mobilisation of units on the night of the 15th in the evening

2 with a duty for local commanders to report back what happened on the

3 following morning.

4 A. I don't know.

5 Q. You see I'm suggesting to you that you may well, as a Croat in

6 your village, know more than you are telling this Court. And in

7 particular, you must have known why the local Croats left this village on

8 the evening of the 15th of April.

9 A. How could I know? I was working.

10 Q. Well, you came back the next morning, and if Croats weren't there,

11 there would have been a reason for their not being there, Mr. Drmic.

12 Let's deal with it in two stages. Did you live in a house with family?

13 Did you live in a house with family?

14 A. Of course I do.

15 Q. Was your family there when you got back in the morning or had

16 they, by chance, left?

17 A. I came to the village at 7.30 in the morning and my family had got

18 out of the village.

19 Q. Thank you. Now, you've known that since I've been asking you

20 these questions today, and you must have known why they left. Will you

21 now please tell the Court why your family left before you got back from

22 work? Who warned them?

23 A. How could I know, sir? I was four or five or six hundred metres

24 away, perhaps even a kilometre away at the factory. I was doing my work.

25 I had no idea about a thing. When I'm at work, I have no contact with my

Page 25692

1 family. Nothing that evening, nothing.

2 Q. Mr. Drmic, you haven't in this Court been stopped from telling the

3 learned Judges what other people have told you. When you met your family

4 again, you must have asked them why they had left. They must have told

5 you. Will you now please tell us.

6 A. I met up with my family on the 18th.

7 Q. Yes?

8 A. That is two days later.

9 Q. Yes?

10 A. I met up with my family.

11 Q. Well, and?

12 A. And nothing.

13 Q. Did you not wonder where they had been? Did they not tell you

14 where they had been? Did they not tell what had happened? Hadn't you

15 been worried about where they had been? Mr. Drmic, you're not telling the

16 truth because you know that the truth reveals that this was a planned

17 attack, of which you were probably a party.

18 A. Nothing. Nothing was conscious at that time. I did not know

19 about any attack there. I did not participate in any attack. But when

20 the Serbs shelled Princip, sometimes our families would go away to

21 shelters, as far away from the village as possible. And it would happen

22 that they would go to Gornja Veceriska, and in Gornja Veceriska I have

23 friends, where my wife went with our children. That was not the first

24 time that the villagers from Donja Veceriska would leave the village.

25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Where did you meet your family? Where did you

Page 25693

1 meet your family?

2 A. In the village of Gornja Veceriska.

3 JUDGE ROBINSON: How far is that from where they were living?

4 A. Four kilometres.

5 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's fine, thanks.


7 Q. Even that last answer isn't accurate, Mr. Drmic. You're trying to

8 create a false distance. Look at the bottom left-hand corner of this

9 plan. Your house is, at most, two kilometres from Gornja Veceriska, and

10 you know that. You've been trying to exaggerate the distances here.

11 Look, there's a scale on this plan. Gornja Veceriska is on the left.

12 You've shown us precisely where your house is. If we look at the scale at

13 the bottom, if you would be good enough to put it up, we can see what the

14 scale is for a kilometre. Your house is two kilometres, at most, from

15 Gornja Veceriska; correct?

16 A. No, that is not true. Perhaps this map is wrong. I know exactly

17 how far away it is. I know that it is certainly over three and a half

18 kilometres to the house where my wife was staying.

19 Q. Very well. If the map is wrong, the military map, so be it.

20 Let's look at Exhibit 676, very briefly.

21 MR. NICE: I can make mine available to save time. Usual form.

22 Q. I'm not suggesting that you would know about this document. It's

23 the content I'm interested in. You have been at pains to tell us about

24 the group known as the --

25 THE INTERPRETER: Tvrtkovci.

Page 25694

1 MR. NICE: Thank you.

2 Q. -- group. This is an order apparently sent out at half past 1.00

3 in the morning by Blaskic. You see, it goes out at half past 1.00 in the

4 morning. If we can look at the content of it again. And it's a command

5 order to protect attack -- to protect activity by the enemy, extremist

6 Muslim forces, and to blockade the broader territory of Kruscica, Vranska

7 and Donja Veceriska. It goes to the commander -- just at the top. Sorry.

8 Thank you very much -- of the HVO brigade, Mr. Cerkez. And if we then

9 look down the body of the document a little bit further --

10 JUDGE MAY: Just pausing there, you may have mentioned it, the

11 unit. Can we go back to the --

12 MR. NICE: The unit is mentioned there, yes.

13 JUDGE MAY: Tvrtkovci, yes.

14 MR. NICE:

15 Q. It sets out what's to happen. I'm sorry you haven't seen this

16 document before. It sets out time of readiness at 5.30. And it says at

17 the number 4: "Personally responsible to me for the execution of the

18 given assignment is the commander of the HVO brigade, Mr. M. Cerkez."

19 Now, that's the content of the document, apparently drawn or

20 created at half past 1.00 in the morning. Were you aware that this

21 Tvrtkovci unit was under these instructions and under the command of Mario

22 Cerkez?

23 A. I don't know a thing about the order. As for the Tvrtkovci, I

24 found out about them only when I came to the village. Mario Cerkez, as

25 far as I know, did not have any authority over the Tvrtkovci.

Page 25695

1 Q. How do you know that? Who did have authority?

2 A. Those are special units, I mean groups. Nobody had anything to do

3 with them. They could do whatever they wanted. It was a state of war.

4 Q. How do you know that they could do whatever they wanted? Just

5 explain your position on that, please.

6 A. Do you understand what bandits are, what criminals are? Well,

7 those are criminals.

8 Q. These were people, I think we've agreed, who came into the area

9 where there was a particular need to safeguard that factory; correct?

10 A. Which people?

11 Q. The Tvrtkovci unit. They came into an area where there was a

12 special need to protect the SPS factory.

13 A. That is not correct.

14 Q. You, I think, agreed with me that it was especially important for

15 that factory to be protected because it was of special interest to any

16 warring party; correct?

17 A. Who would protect it? We, the local Croats and Muslims, or

18 somebody else, some third party? I didn't understand your question at

19 all. You understood for sure what I've been saying.

20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Drmic, can you remember, please, to deal

21 courteously with counsel. You are in Court now to give evidence, not to

22 argue. You've been treated courteously yourself, and I must ask you to

23 treat counsel with equal courtesy.

24 MR. NICE:

25 Q. You don't point to any other HVO unit or special unit being

Page 25696

1 present in your village. You say it was all down to this particular

2 group. Two things follow. Are you suggesting, on the one hand, that the

3 HVO had left this vital factory, with its gateway into your village,

4 unprotected on the night of the 15th, 16th? Is that really what you're

5 suggesting?

6 A. No. I'm saying that the factory was protected by the security

7 workers made of Croats, Muslims, and some Serbs, and that there was a unit

8 15- to 20-men strong of the military police.

9 Q. Very well. I'm not going to discuss that further, for want of

10 time. We're going to move to another document. No, we won't. First of

11 all, I want to ask you some other questions about what you were doing on

12 that night. Answer this question, please, just yes or no, and don't give

13 any name. Do you follow me?

14 A. You may.

15 Q. There was a witness who gave evidence in the Blaskic case.

16 Following giving evidence, his house was either blown up or at least the

17 roof was destroyed. Just yes or no to that, please.

18 A. No.

19 Q. No knowledge of that at all?

20 A. I don't know what house you're talking about.

21 Q. A house towards the entrance of the village. Where we traced the

22 road in, where you come up that long road to come to the village off the

23 main road, it's one of the first houses there. Thinking back, do you

24 remember that house being damaged a couple of years ago, after the Blaskic

25 trial had started?

Page 25697

1 A. That house was damaged during the war.

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. Now I remember what house you are referring to. And I can tell

4 you what the name of the guy the house belongs to is. There is not -- I

5 don't have the map here.

6 Q. We'll come to that in a second. But first of all, you remember

7 that house being damaged in the war; and by my description of the house

8 being damaged more recently, you're obviously connecting the two. When it

9 was damaged more recently, was that because people in your village knew

10 that this person had given evidence in the Blaskic trial? Was it?

11 A. That I do not know. All I know is this: The house was damaged in

12 the war. It lost the roof, or rather it caved in, but nothing had been

13 taken away from the roof. And after that tiles were taken off that roof

14 and the authorities in Vitez ordered to take the tiles back, and that was

15 done.

16 MR. NICE: Can we have a very short private session for the name

17 of the person.

18 [Private session]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 25698

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [Open session]


5 Q. Two things happened on the night -- two particular things happened

6 that I want to remind you of on the night. First, the man we've just

7 identified was a man whose life you found at your mercy briefly. Do you

8 remember that? Because had you a gun in your hand and you were aiming it

9 at him.

10 A. Not true.

11 Q. But because you recognised him as a school colleague, you were --

12 turned your gun away and let him live; isn't that the truth?

13 A. That is not the truth. I never saw him.

14 Q. And the second thing that I want to remind you of on that night is

15 this: Do you remember a man whose hand was either blown off or seriously

16 damaged by a hand grenade that went off?

17 A. Later on, I knew later on that a man had lost his arm.

18 Q. Did you not help that man by putting him in a push cart and

19 pushing him somewhere so that he could get some kind of treatment for it?

20 A. Yes, I helped him.

21 Q. Thank you. Because, as I am suggesting to you throughout, you

22 found yourself that night involved, whether you liked it or not, in the

23 cleansing of your village. Now, do you accept that or do you reject that?

24 A. I reject it because I worked in the factory.

25 Q. Let's look at another document please, 1407.1, new document,

Page 25699

1 Zagreb. While it's coming to you, you've shown us one document of

2 somebody who was injured. There was a man called Jakesevic, Stipo Anto

3 who was injured that night, wasn't he? Do you remember that?

4 A. Yes, but when?

5 Q. On the 17th. Not that night, the following day.

6 A. Yes. Yes.

7 Q. Thank you. Just have a look at this document. You were a witness

8 to his being injured, and this is a document of the 25th of March, 1994,

9 coming from somebody called Mlakic, commander of the 4th Battalion of the

10 Viteska Brigade, and it relates to the injuries of the man Jakesevic born

11 in 1956 who had sought request from the Battalion for confirmation that he

12 was wounded, and I want to read what it says. "We confirm that Jakesevic,

13 Stipo Anto, born 1956 was in the (illegible) sector of the reserve

14 composition in the village of Donja Veceriska and in that respect on the

15 17th of April, 1993, while cleansing the village, he was wounded by a 60

16 millimetre mortar which was fired on the village by the MOS, seriously

17 wounded in the leg and after further treatment the leg remained

18 atrophied. The aforementioned casualty was carried by Drmic Bono who can

19 also be a witness."

20 Now, this is the Viteska Brigade writing about the events in which

21 you were involved. I ask you to think again, please. When you carried

22 this man to safety or for recovery, was it not because both of you had

23 been involved in cleansing this village?

24 A. No. All this is happening on the west side, and I keep telling

25 you about it. And all the other guys were killed by two shells.

Page 25700

1 Q. Well, what do you think of the description put out by the Viteska

2 Brigade's Battalion commander that the village was being cleansed,

3 please? You were there. You were the witness. This is their

4 description.

5 A. I was in the village, but I was not an eye witness to the

6 cleansing. And what it says here, these are all some dates. See this was

7 of the 25th of March, 1994, and in 1994, what happened then? I don't

8 know.

9 Q. When you witnessed this event, you were, in fact, I suggest to

10 you, present with the man, Ivica Drmic, about whom you've been either

11 unable or as I must suggest to you unwilling to tell us very much. It's

12 right, isn't it, that you were with Ivica Drmic?

13 A. We were all there at that moment, that village guards, Croat

14 village guards. That's the western part of the village. And I have

15 already told you umpteen times where the villagers of Donja Veceriska were

16 and where Tvertkovci went. And the shell here fell among the throng of

17 people. There were two shells which fell and I have already told you who

18 was killed and who was wounded, and that included Anto Jakesevic whom I

19 carried to a field, what do you call it, hospital.

20 MR. NICE: Your Honour, as he acknowledges being present with

21 Ivica Drmic, I needn't produce a document that proves that Ivica Drmic was

22 also a witness to these events.

23 A. No. No. No. No. No. I didn't confirm.

24 MR. NICE: 1472.14, very quickly.

25 Q. You see this is the document that I didn't want to trouble us

Page 25701

1 with, and what it shows is it's a document again that -- have a look at

2 it. It comes from the Viteska 92nd Unit. It's a document of 1996. It's

3 at the request of the same man, Anto Jakesevic. It relates to his injury

4 on the 16th of April where he was wounded -- I beg your pardon -- he was a

5 member of the Viteska 92 from the 16th of April. He was injured on the

6 17th in Vitez by a 60 millimetre round, and the witness is Ivica Drmic

7 while he was carrying out military duties on the first line of defence.

8 I'm simply trying to get you to agree with me, if you will,

9 please, that that night you were working with Ivica Drmic who we can see

10 from the documents was the commander of the Viteska Company in your

11 village.

12 A. Well, I mean as far as I can, the previous exhibit and this one in

13 one it mentions Ivica as a witness, and in the other one, Bono Drmic as a

14 witness. I know nothing about this. And what could the regiment do? You

15 can see for yourself that one is signed by Mr. Mlakic and the other one by

16 Mario Cerkez, and they are two different individuals. Now it's me with

17 the witness now --

18 JUDGE MAY: I wonder if we can carry this any further. The

19 witness doesn't seem to get the point that this seems to contradict his

20 evidence, but there's little point going on arguing about it.

21 MR. NICE: Can I ask him just a couple more questions and get his

22 comment on a couple more documents then I will be done.

23 Q. The women you moved to Gornja Veceriska, ended up going to Vitez

24 and then Zenica, I think you said probably. You were actually doing

25 cleansing yourself, weren't you, taking Muslims and moving them so this

Page 25702

1 became a Croat village? Quite simple.

2 A. Not true.

3 Q. And can you look very briefly, Exhibit 721, I will provide my copy

4 for the Court. It's an English document, Mr. Drmic, so if you speak

5 English, of course follow it. It's a document from one of the British

6 battalions who was there. It's dated the 18th of April and it records

7 this, that is to say that one of the British battalions record this,

8 "British Battalion call signs witnessed HVO soldiers systematically

9 clearing Muslim houses at Donja Veceriska on that day."

10 That's an accurate account, isn't it, of what was going on?

11 A. I do not -- I'm not saying that Tvertkovci did not do that.

12 Q. I'm suggesting to you it may well have been wider than Tvertkovci,

13 and it was other members of the Viteska Brigade, but you are not going to

14 accept that.

15 Can we have a brief look at 722. This is another document dated

16 the 18th of April. Again it's a British Battalion document and a little

17 bit further down, I think -- there we are. It records at 0553 hours, so

18 it's an accurate piece of reporting, it's detailed, I mean, and it says,

19 "300 to 400 refugees were reported to be in the eastern edge of the

20 village of Donja Veceriska." You were there. That account by the

21 observing British officer is accurate, isn't it, some 300 to 400 Muslims

22 had been moved out?

23 A. No. I don't know, because it happened during the night.

24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm not going to take this witness any

25 further. I was going to go through the list of people buried. It's

Page 25703

1 Exhibit 1392 which lists the -- lists some of the people buried along with

2 the victims of Ahmici from this village, but the witness' answer to this

3 is going to be that he doesn't know. He's already told us that so I'm not

4 going to ask him.

5 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour, just briefly.

6 Re-examined by Mr. Kovacic:

7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Drmic, just a few explanations because I

8 think that some things have remained somewhat dim. Tell us, please, on

9 the 15th, in the evening of the 15th when you came to the factory to

10 report for work, did you at that time get any reliable information about

11 the state of stocks in the factory?

12 A. No. We practically had nothing to do with the production.

13 Q. Will you please try to give us as short answers as possible. We

14 shall speed things up now. So you do not have any reliable data as to the

15 size of stocks or raw materials there?

16 A. No, I don't.

17 Q. Just will you please pause between question and answer for the

18 record. There was talk about the mejtaf. The first question is whether

19 in Donja Kruscica there is a mejtaf?

20 A. You mean in Veceriska.

21 Q. Yes, I'm sorry. Yes, that's what I meant. In Donja Veceriska,

22 was there one?

23 A. Yes, there was.

24 Q. And this mejtaf has -- is marked in any way so that any outsider

25 can recognise it as a religious object?

Page 25704













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Page 25705

1 A. That's just a house like any other house. It's not a mosque.

2 It's a mejtaf -- well, just a house like any other house.

3 Q. Right. Well, if I come as an outsider to the village, can I,

4 unless I know what goes on in that house, is there any way I can recognise

5 and single out that house from all the others?

6 A. No, I wouldn't say so.

7 Q. Thank you. And it wasn't clear when was it destroyed? Could you

8 tell us to the best of your recollection when was it destroyed?

9 A. Well, I really do not know when.

10 Q. But could you give us the year?

11 A. I think it was 1993.

12 Q. That is after the war had broken out between Muslims and Croats?

13 A. I repeat, that is most likely.

14 Q. But could you tell us if it was a short time after the war broke

15 out, was it in summer or was it in winter?

16 A. I think it was in winter because if the war started in winter,

17 then that is how it should be, but I'm not sure. I can't really tell you

18 because I don't really know when the mejtaf was destroyed.

19 Q. Right. But could you tell us was it in the early days of the war

20 that it was destroyed?

21 A. I don't know.

22 Q. Thank you. An individual named Vinac was mentioned. Could you

23 tell us if there are any people called Vinac in your village?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. A number of them or what kind of a family is that, a large one or

Page 25706

1 what?

2 A. Well, about 30. Some 30 villagers.

3 Q. So quite a number of them?

4 A. Yes, quite a number of them.

5 Q. And as for the altitude difference between the Gornja and Donja

6 Veceriska, are they the same altitude?

7 A. You mean the --

8 Q. Above the sea level?

9 A. Yes. Donja Veceriska is higher.

10 Q. Is there a significant difference?

11 A. In what?

12 Q. In altitude.

13 A. Well, with the naked eye, you wouldn't see it but in the free

14 fall, our water gets to them so it means --

15 Q. Thank you. One of the Drmics that you mentioned and you said that

16 he was a master, but it was said a master of war sciences or what is it?

17 A. No. No. No. A man who obtained a master's degree before the

18 war.

19 Q. But in what sense?

20 A. I don't know. How can I know? In Banja Luka. To be quite

21 honest, I don't know and I really didn't care.

22 Q. But, whatever the case, you tell us that this Drmic obtained his

23 master's degree before the war?

24 A. Well of course.

25 Q. You were shown a document with a man called Anto Jakesevic, do you

Page 25707

1 know where he comes from?

2 A. Jajce.

3 Q. Did you know him before the war?

4 A. I knew him because he came when Croats and Muslims were expelled

5 from above. That is when he came to the village.

6 Q. Very well. I document was shown to you by my learned friend, 653,

7 where these villages are mentioned, and you told us that you did not know

8 the exact situation Gornja Veceriska but let me phrase it in a different

9 way. You told us in your testimony that you took part in the action at

10 Galica, and Slimena, and once you were on duty in a shift at Divjak. Was

11 this Ivica Drmic your superior an all those occasions or somebody else?

12 A. No, not mine.

13 Q. Not yours, thank you. Mr. Drmic, could you tell us roughly how

14 many times, on how many occasions before the events of the 16th of April

15 when your families were taken to shelter in Donja Veceriska, in Gornja

16 Veceriska, how many times did that happen before?

17 A. Well, some three or four times, for instance, when Serbs would

18 shell their factory and then -- because up there is slightly further away

19 and houses are better sheltered because they are on hillsides so they

20 would go there. Muslims also went to their friends.

21 Q. Let us just take an example. Do you remember when the JNA air

22 force shelled the factory?

23 A. Oh, yes, I remember it well, because I was about to start building

24 my house, or rather I was laying the foundations for my house. I remember

25 it well.

Page 25708

1 Q. Very well. And were then the civilians also instructed to take

2 shelter in Gornja Veceriska?

3 A. Well, I took shelter in Asim Haskic, in his cellar, with his

4 family.

5 Q. Where? In what village?

6 A. Well, he was my next-door neighbour. That's what we call one

7 another, "neighbour." That's how we address one another.

8 Q. This one witness whose name was mentioned in private -- and you

9 know who I'm talking about, so let's not go back into that.

10 A. I know.

11 Q. And my learned friend said that he had testified in Blaskic's

12 case. Tell us, was he one of those whom you called extremists in that

13 family?

14 A. Oh, come on, no.

15 Q. Thank you. I do not know whether you are familiar with that

16 terminology, but let me ask you: In a document that you were shown, the

17 term "cleansing" of the village was used. But when I use that word, what

18 do you -- how do you understand it? Do you understand it as cleansing, as

19 sweeping, as mopping up, clearing up?

20 A. Well, I don't really know what these -- Tvrtkovci or something. I

21 don't -- those orders of theirs. When one uses the term

22 "ciscenje" -- so you've put it well. It can mean taking a broom and

23 sweeping a place. But this is perhaps something else. This was, I'd

24 say -- no, I really can't -- I can't answer. It's really a very difficult

25 question and I am not really very good with words.

Page 25709

1 Q. But did you ever hear the military use that word?

2 A. Well, of course I've heard of the word "ciscenje," but I've never

3 heard about that word used in relation to a people.

4 Q. But before, when you served the army, did you hear perhaps when

5 you served that ground would be cleared of mines or something like that?

6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic --

7 A. Yes, I've heard about this.

8 JUDGE MAY: -- don't put words into the witness' mind.

9 MR. KOVACIC: No, I won't. Your Honour, I just merely wanted to

10 show that in the Croatian language, this word is having many

11 different -- nothing else.

12 JUDGE MAY: If you want to do it, you can call some evidence about

13 it or something of that sort, but don't put words into the witness'

14 mouth. Yes. Now, have you got anything else? We've got a very short

15 time.

16 MR. KOVACIC: Just one small question.

17 Q. Mr. Drmic, do you perhaps still remember, at that time, before the

18 war, what was the number of the village? How many villagers were there?

19 A. Yes, because I was on the census board in 1991, at the time of the

20 elections, and as far as I can remember, the village had 580 inhabitants.

21 That is about 320 or 340 -- I cannot really tell you -- those who were

22 Bosniaks, and about 200 something. But 40 per cent of Croats and 60 per

23 cent -- and 60 per cent Muslims.

24 Q. And bearing in mind the circumstances and the developments during

25 those early -- the most critical days of the war, would you say that it

Page 25710

1 was possible for that large number of refugees, as shown in the British

2 document? Was that possible to have as many refugees as all that?

3 A. Well, if I'm correct in what I'm saying -- and of course, there

4 are papers to show how many Croats and how many Muslims there were. I do

5 not really remember the one in the British one.

6 Q. Well, the figure of three hundred, three to four hundred was

7 mentioned.

8 A. No, it couldn't be. No. Four hundred? No, it couldn't be.

9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. No more

10 questions.

11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Drmic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you

12 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.

13 We'll adjourn now until 2.15.

14 [The witness withdrew]

15 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.30 p.m.











Page 25711

1 --- On resuming at 2.20 p.m.

2 [The witness entered court]

3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration. If you

4 would stand up, please.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

6 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


8 [Witness answered through interpreter]

9 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.

10 Mr. Mikulicic, we are slightly behind time, I notice. Let's see

11 if we can get through this witness this afternoon, because it will leave

12 two for tomorrow.

13 MR. MIKULICIC: I will do my best, Your Honour.

14 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic:

15 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Ramljak. On behalf of the

16 accused, Mario Cerkez, I'm going to question you. Will you please state

17 your full name, date and place of birth for the record.

18 A. Vlado Ramljak, born on 11 April 1953.

19 Q. You are an ethnic Croat and a Roman Catholic by religion; is that

20 correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You're a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of

23 Croatia?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. You finished vocational school in Vitez, specialising in

Page 25712

1 chemistry?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And you're a chemist by occupation, by profession?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You're currently unemployed. You receive disability as a war

6 veteran?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. You are married, you have two sons, ages 19 and 21?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. You're a member of the HDZ, but you do not hold any party office?

11 A. That is correct.

12 Q. You also have two sisters and two brothers?

13 A. That is correct.

14 Q. You served in the former JNA in Vranje, Serbia, but you hold no

15 military rank?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Mr. Ramljak, can you tell us where you worked before the broke in

18 Vitez [as interpreted]?

19 A. I was working for the Vitezit company in Vitez.

20 Q. You said that you were a chemist, so where did you work? What

21 department?

22 A. That was the Facility B.

23 Q. What did they manufacture?

24 A. They manufactured plastic explosives.

25 Q. Where did you live at that time, Mr. Ramljak?

Page 25713

1 A. Poculica.

2 Q. What ethnic group has a majority in Poculica?

3 A. There's a Croat majority there.

4 Q. Near Poculica are villages Prnjavor and Vrhovine. What ethnic

5 group dominates in those areas?

6 A. Those were Muslim villages.

7 Q. Mr. Ramljak, were village guards organised in your village in

8 1993?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Were you also a member of these village guards?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Were Muslims from your -- did Muslims in your village also take

13 part in village guards or were they exclusively Croat?

14 A. They were mixed guards.

15 Q. Who was the commander of your village guard at that time, in 1993?

16 A. Dragan Grebenar.

17 Q. Who appointed him commander of the village guards?

18 A. We appointed him. We elected him.

19 Q. Mr. Ramljak, can you tell me: In addition to guarding your

20 village in these village guards, did you also hold another post in

21 Poculica?

22 A. There was looting, so we -- in Poculica, so we went to give guard

23 duties.

24 Q. And where was the other location in on Kuber?

25 A. It was a location called Bivolac.

Page 25714

1 Q. How often did you go there?

2 A. We went there every three weeks. We alternated with other

3 villages.

4 Q. How many were you in a shift?

5 A. Ten.

6 Q. What was your basic task there?

7 A. It was to observe, nothing else.

8 Q. What were you to observe?

9 A. It was predominantly against the Serbs.

10 Q. Immediately before the 16th of April, which is when the war broke

11 out, you were at Kuber?

12 A. Yes, but I had come back from there four days previously.

13 Q. So you returned to your village four days before the conflict?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did you go on your way back through the village of Prnjavor, which

16 we have mentioned?

17 A. Yes, I did by myself; and the others went around via Gola Kosa, so

18 I was there alone.

19 Q. Did you notice something unusual in the village of Prnjavor?

20 A. I did.

21 Q. Can you please tell us what it was what you noticed?

22 A. There were four bus loads of soldiers and there were two flags and

23 they had -- there were people with their -- with turbans and with beards

24 and they were the BiH army buses.

25 Q. The flags that you saw, do you recall the colours of those flags?

Page 25715

1 A. One was black, one was green.

2 Q. And they had an inscription on them?

3 A. They had an inscription in Arabic.

4 Q. Did the soldiers have any insignia?

5 A. Yes, they had the crescent moon and the star on their sleeves.

6 Q. Were these people whom you knew from before, locals from Prnjavor

7 or were they people who had come from somewhere else?

8 A. They were people who came from somewhere else. They talked in a

9 language I couldn't understand.

10 Q. How did you call the -- these people whom you described as having

11 had beards and having talked in a language you did not understand?

12 A. Mujahedins.

13 Q. Mr. Ramljak, at Kuber, you kept watch. Did Muslims also keep

14 watches at Kuber?

15 A. Yes, above us.

16 Q. Did you hear about an incident in Kuber before the outbreak of

17 hostilities?

18 A. There was no incidents.

19 Q. Mr. Ramljak, do you know Vlado Santic?

20 A. I do know him.

21 Q. Did he also go to Kuber in shifts?

22 A. Yes, he did.

23 Q. Vlado Santic replaced your shift at Kuber?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Did he later tell you what he had heard up there?

Page 25716

1 A. They were attacked and three soldiers were killed.

2 Q. Did he tell you approximately when this happened?

3 A. I think that that happened about one day before the conflict.

4 Q. We have already talked about this and the Trial Chamber knows that

5 the conflict started on the 16th of April in the early morning hours.

6 Where were you?

7 A. I woke up at 6.00 in the morning. Oh, no, at 6.00, I turned over

8 my duty, and at 6.30 I was taken prisoner.

9 Q. Mr. Ramljak, could you please slide your chair over closer to the

10 microphone, it may be easier. You said that you turned over your shift at

11 6.00 in the morning, what type of shift was it?

12 A. That is what we did in the village.

13 Q. The night that you spent in the village on guard duty, did

14 anything unusual happen during that night?

15 A. Abas Causevic and Ekrim Bektas were on guard duty with me, but I

16 noticed that those civilians, those men were passing from Prnjavor wearing

17 civilian clothes.

18 Q. The two gentlemen you mentioned, what ethnic group did they belong

19 to?

20 A. Muslim.

21 Q. And in the course of the night, you saw Muslims leaving with

22 weapons in the direction of Prnjavor?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Did you ask them what was going on, why these people were going

25 there?

Page 25717

1 A. We didn't ask anything because the two who were with me also did

2 not know what was going on.

3 Q. Very well. What happened then when you turned over your guard

4 duties at 6.00 in the morning?

5 A. I was taken prisoner at 6.30.

6 Q. Can you describe this to us briefly? How did it happen that you

7 were captured?

8 A. They called out to me, they said, "Vlado, give up your weapons."

9 I came out of the house, and I couldn't recognise anybody because they all

10 had their faces painted. I told them that I didn't have any weapons

11 because I had left it with the guards. And he said, "Bring out your wife

12 and children," and my brother who was in a wheelchair, and then they put

13 us in a vehicle and took us to Prnjavor.

14 Q. Very well. Let us try to clarify this. In the morning you were

15 in your house?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Then somebody called you out asking you to surrender your weapons?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. By using your name, calling you by your name, Vlado?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. About what time was that?

22 A. I think between 6.45 and 7.00. I couldn't be precise on that.

23 Q. And at that, you left the house?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And who did you see?

Page 25718

1 A. I saw those with their faces painted. They had -- they were

2 breaking windows down at a coffee bar. They had broken in the door.

3 Q. These people with painted faces, were they wearing civilian

4 clothes or uniforms?

5 A. Uniforms.

6 Q. Did they have any insignia on their uniforms?

7 A. No, they only had the green things. The green ribbons on their

8 shoulders.

9 Q. You mentioned in your house on the ground floor, there was a bar?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And you said that they had broken the glass down there?

12 A. They destroyed everything that -- everything that there was

13 there.

14 Q. Among these people with painted faces, were you able to recognise

15 anyone?

16 A. Not really.

17 Q. They asked you to surrender your weapons and you told them that

18 you did not have any, and that you had left it up at the school with the

19 guards?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. The school was the place where you changed guard duties?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Then you said that you and your family, including your

24 wheelchair-bound brother were taken to Prnjavor?

25 A. Yes.

Page 25719













13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English

14 and French transcripts.












Page 25720

1 Q. Where were you taken in Prnjavor?

2 A. They took them to a house, and I was in the hall with the rest of

3 the men.

4 Q. Before this, did the soldiers ask you to go and get somebody from

5 the village?

6 A. Well, that was around 12.00 when they -- the loud speaker sounded

7 calling on Croats to surrender weapons.

8 Q. Now, where was this loudspeaker located, Mr. Ramljak?

9 A. Up there where hodza would go.

10 Q. You mean of the minaret of the mosque?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Can you tell me, were you then given a task of getting somebody

13 from the village?

14 A. I was told to go to the commander and to order him to come to the

15 school for negotiations in order to surrender all the weapons, and he said

16 if he doesn't do that, you don't need to come back.

17 Q. You said that Dragan Grebenar was the commander of these guards.

18 Mr. Ramljak, let me ask you this thing again, for the record. What did

19 they say that they would do if you didn't come back?

20 A. I was told that if I didn't come back, that they would kill my

21 family.

22 Q. Very well. And then you went to look for Grebenar?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. What happened then?

25 A. I came to Grebenar and a shell fell between us. Grebenar was

Page 25721

1 injured and he was taken to Vitez, and I went back.

2 Q. When you came back to the part of the village where ABiH soldiers

3 were, did you tell them what happened?

4 A. Yes. They said, "Don't shoot. Vlado is coming back." And I came

5 back and the commander asked me, "Where's your commander?" And I said,

6 "He's been wounded."

7 Q. What was the name of this ABiH commander with whom you talked?

8 A. Redjo Bektas.

9 Q. And what did he order after that?

10 A. He ordered the soldiers to split up and to attack, and I was taken

11 to the hall.

12 Q. Did you personally hear when Redjo Bektas issued the military

13 order?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Can you tell us what approximately he ordered?

16 A. He said to attack the lower part of the village.

17 Q. What happened then?

18 A. I don't know. I only heard shooting while I was in the hall.

19 Q. Was there any fire in the village, I mean flames?

20 A. When our own withdrew, I heard from them. And when I was being

21 taken to Sivrino Selo, I saw that the houses of the lower part of the

22 village were all burned down.

23 Q. So Croats from this part of Poculica had to leave the village?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Very well. Then you said that you were taken to Prnjavor, to the

Page 25722

1 village hall, where you were detained.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did they tell you why they were detaining you in the village

4 hall? Did they tell you anything?

5 A. No, they didn't say anything to me. But it wasn't just me. We

6 were about 30 men.

7 Q. What about women and children?

8 A. They were put in various houses. I didn't even see them.

9 Q. How long did you stay in this village hall in the ABiH detention?

10 A. Seven days.

11 Q. Later you were transferred. Where?

12 A. To Sivrino Selo.

13 Q. Later on did somebody tell you what happened in the village hall

14 after you left?

15 A. Jozo Vidovic, Ivo Vidovic, and Perica Papic were killed; and Jozo

16 Jurcevic and Zeljo Papic were wounded, and another six women, because some

17 of those women were also in the hall at that time.

18 Q. But you didn't see that?

19 A. No, I did not see them, because we had left the hall.

20 Q. Who told you this?

21 A. Anto Kristo. He had stayed there, but he had been captured later,

22 and so he told us this.

23 Q. How about Jozo and Zeljo, who were wounded? Did they also tell

24 you this?

25 A. Yes, when they were released from the hospital in Crkvica, they

Page 25723

1 also told that story.

2 Q. Very well. From there you were transferred to Sivrino Selo.

3 Where were you placed there?

4 A. They have a mejtaf there where they had their religious ceremony,

5 so that's where we were.

6 Q. So this building where mejtaf was, this is a place of worship. It

7 was turned or converted into a prison?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. How many were you in this mejtaf at Sivrino Selo?

10 A. Twenty-one.

11 Q. Where were you transferred after that?

12 A. We stayed there for a long time.

13 Q. But where were you transferred after Sivrino Selo?

14 A. To Vrhovine.

15 Q. How long did you stay at Vrhovine?

16 A. I couldn't tell you exactly. I think we stayed two or three days.

17 Q. And after that where were you transferred?

18 A. To Preocica.

19 Q. Very well. What was in Preocica?

20 A. The Red Cross came to Preocica, registered us, and then we were

21 exchanged.

22 Q. Did you manage to escape at that time?

23 A. I was exchanged, but I was captured for the second time in

24 Dubravica.

25 Q. When you said that you were captured for the second time, did ABiH

Page 25724

1 soldiers ask you -- did they tell you anything?

2 A. One of them went to execute me and asked me for 5.000 in order not

3 to do so.

4 Q. He asked 5.000 of what?

5 A. German marks.

6 Q. Did you have that kind of money on you?

7 A. From where?

8 Q. So what did they say to you when you told them that you didn't

9 have that money?

10 A. I said, "I don't care." He said, "How do you not care?" I said,

11 "I don't care because I don't have the money." And then one of them

12 cocked a gun. But then their commanding officer came and said, "Where's

13 Ramljak?" I said, "Here he is." "Well, go back -- go to the van." And

14 then he asked me, "Were you beaten?" I said, "No."

15 Q. Very well. Now, where were you taken then?

16 A. After that I was taken to the music school in Zenica.

17 Q. And after the music school in Zenica?

18 A. The KP Dom, the correctional centre.

19 Q. While you were in Zenica, did the Red Cross come to visit or

20 register you?

21 THE INTERPRETER: There was no audible answer.

22 JUDGE MAY: No answer to that.

23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. Will you please repeat the answer? Will you please repeat it?

25 Did the Red Cross come to visit you while you were in Zenica?

Page 25725

1 A. No.

2 Q. Mr. Ramljak, can you remember whether at any point in time during

3 your captivity, first Prnjavor, Sivrino Selo and so on, did any physician

4 ever come to talk to you or visit you?

5 A. No.

6 Q. What kind of food were you getting?

7 A. Very bad. It would be just scraps.

8 Q. How long did you stay in captivity?

9 A. About two months.

10 Q. What was -- how did the guards treat you?

11 A. It depended. At Vrhovine, there was some soldiers who were from

12 somewhere else. I was beaten.

13 Q. Why were you beaten?

14 A. Because I was in a uniform.

15 Q. What kind of a uniform were you wearing?

16 A. A camouflage uniform.

17 Q. Where did you get that uniform?

18 A. I got it from a friend, somehow put it together.

19 Q. Did other members of the village guards in Poculica also wear

20 uniforms?

21 A. We were exchanging clothes so that whoever was on guard duty would

22 actually wear uniforms, so we swapped clothes.

23 Q. Did you see some foreign people in Prnjavor, in other words, some

24 non-Bosnian people?

25 A. When I was in the KP Dom. I never went through Prnjavor again.

Page 25726

1 Q. While you were in captivity, what did you have to do? What kind

2 of jobs?

3 A. We did nothing. Oh, you mean in the villages?

4 Q. Yes.

5 A. We had to bury pigs because a lot of pigs had been slaughtered and

6 then we were also used as human shields while they were burying their

7 own. As they were burying them, they would line us up.

8 Q. Mr. Ramljak, you said you had to bury swine. Who killed them?

9 A. Well theirs, not ours.

10 Q. When you say "theirs", whom do you mean?

11 A. Why Muslims.

12 Q. You said that you also were used as a human shield as they buried

13 but whom do you mean again?

14 A. Well, somebody, one of theirs dies or is killed and they put us

15 around.

16 Q. When you say one of them dies, whom do you mean? What army?

17 A. Regardless, an elderly man, perhaps, dies of old age, never mind,

18 they just put us around.

19 Q. Tell us, did you keep in touch with your family during your

20 captivity?

21 A. No.

22 Q. And what do you hear later on, what had happened to them?

23 A. I couldn't hear anything until I came back.

24 Q. And did they then tell you what they had gone through where they

25 had been to?

Page 25727

1 A. They were exchanged on the 17th day and the Red Cross transferred

2 them.

3 Q. And during your stay in prison and all the mistreatment, you were

4 granted a status of an invalid, isn't it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. And you do get some remuneration for that, but you get it only

7 from time to time. Will you please answer?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Could you give us the percentage of your disability?

10 A. 40 per cent.

11 Q. And you were also given those certificates, weren't you?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And what have you done with those certificates, can you use them?

14 A. Nothing.

15 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation} And before we finish, I should

16 like to ask the registry to show the witness Exhibit Z70.2. [In English]

17 It's on page 54, please.

18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ramljak, will you please look at this? Under

19 number 73 on this page, which is page 54, there is a name, Ramljak, son of

20 Jako, first name Vlado, born 11th April 1953; is that you? Are these your

21 particulars?

22 A. Yes, except that the signature is not mine.

23 Q. So in the right-hand column, the signature there is not yours?

24 A. No, it isn't.

25 Q. Those who signed this list, Pero Grebenar, who is he?

Page 25728

1 A. He is Drago Grebenar's brother.

2 Q. And what was he in the village, what was he?

3 A. I don't know. He was with the HDZ. I don't know what he was.

4 Q. And what about Vinko Tomic?

5 A. Well, same thing. I don't know. All I know is that he was with

6 the HDZ.

7 Q. And the third signed is Dragan Grebenar and you told us that he

8 was the village guard commander, didn't you?

9 A. I did. I did. Yes.

10 Q. If it one looks here, it seems that you were a member of the basic

11 branch of the HDZ in Poculica. That is correct, isn't it? Were you a

12 member of the basic branch of the HDZ in Poculica, were you?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And that you were active in organising resistance to aggression as

15 of the 18th September of 1991; is that correct?

16 A. No.

17 Q. And would you know, Mr. Ramljak, who gave these facts to the men

18 who -- which they then put in these lists?

19 A. I don't.

20 Q. Were you the one who gave them these facts?

21 A. Well, somebody did. Perhaps they got them from the municipal

22 registers.

23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no

24 further questions, Your Honours.

25 MR. SAYERS: Your Honours, we have no questions for Mr. Ramljak.

Page 25729

1 Cross-examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:

2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ramljak, so your first name is Vlado. You

3 are Vlado Ramljak?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Do you know any of your namesakes in Vitez, are there other people

6 called Vlado Ramljak?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Are you related to them?

9 A. They carry the same surname, there are four of them. No, we are

10 not related.

11 Q. And is one of those four a member or was he a member of the civil

12 police in Vitez?

13 A. I don't know.

14 Q. Were any members of your family members of the Vitez Brigade?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And in what capacity were they officers or were they just foot

17 soldiers?

18 A. Just ordinary soldiers, and that was only one of them.

19 Q. And from what sector did he come, that relative?

20 A. Same place where I come from, from above, from Poculica.

21 Q. But you -- so you had a relative who was called Ramljak like you

22 and was a member of the Vitez Brigade and who also came from Poculica like

23 you did, is it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you personally, you were not a member of the Vitez Brigade,

Page 25730

1 were you?

2 A. No. Yes [as interpreted].

3 Q. Were there any members of your family who lost their lives during

4 the conflict?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Close or distant relatives?

7 A. Distant relatives.

8 Q. And what were those circumstances under which they died?

9 A. He was killed at Buhine Kuce.

10 Q. And he was also a soldier in the Vitez Brigade?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So it is -- you had two members of your family who were in the

13 Vitez Brigade, if I understand you properly.

14 A. No, just one.

15 Q. But the person who was killed is the one who came from Poculica

16 like you.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. You told us that you were trained in chemistry and that you worked

19 for Vitezit.

20 A. No, I am not a technician.

21 Q. I was not mentioning technician. You were a chemist and you

22 worked in the department producing plastic explosives at Vitezit?

23 A. Yes, I had chemical training, yes.

24 Q. Did you go on working for the Vitezit plant until the 16th of

25 April 1993 in the same job?

Page 25731

1 A. No.

2 Q. And when did you stop working for the factory?

3 A. We stopped when the Serbs shelled the Princip. And after that,

4 nobody worked.

5 Q. So you were doing nothing in April 1993.

6 A. I wasn't.

7 Q. Just to clarify it because it was not clear either in your

8 summary, did you own a bar or coffee shop or something in Poculica in your

9 house, in the house in which you lived?

10 A. No. Well that was in my building.

11 Q. In your statement, in your summary, it says in 2.5 that soldiers

12 who surrounded your house on the 16th of April destroyed the inventory,

13 the things that were in your bar. So you were running a bar at the time,

14 weren't you?

15 A. But I opened it in my building and it was completely destroyed.

16 Q. In your summary, all it says -- and that is where I stopped. When

17 I -- one reads this summary, it seems that at the time when your house was

18 attacked, that it was the bar, which was also destroyed. So my impression

19 was I thought that it was in one and the same house. But are they two

20 different buildings, two different places that you are talking about?

21 A. There were two coffee shops, one that belonged to the relative

22 that was killed and one that I owned. I do not know which one you have in

23 mind, but both were destroyed.

24 Q. I'm talking about the bar which is mentioned in your summary, the

25 summary which you signed, the destruction of that. Do you have any

Page 25732

1 eyewitnesses to that or were you told that? Because it was not near your

2 house, as far as I can understand.

3 A. No. That was in my house, personal. Except that you were

4 not -- you are not being clear. I had rented my coffee bar to my

5 brother-in-law.

6 Q. Let me rephrase this. The building in which you were surrounded

7 on the 16th of April, is it in that building that this bar was?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So we agree on that. A few moments ago Mr. Cerkez's counsel

10 showed you a document which is Z70.2, and you said that it was your name

11 and your particulars but that the signature was not yours, but that you

12 indeed were a member of the HDZ branch in Poculica.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. You were also asked about the names of the three persons who

15 undersigned that document: Mr. Pero Grebenar, who is called a

16 coordinator. Could you tell us, what does "coordinator" mean?

17 A. No.

18 Q. There's then Mr. Vinko Tomic, and it says that he's a commander.

19 A. No.

20 Q. And finally, Mr. Dragan Grebenar, who appears here as the

21 president of the local branch. So he was the president of the Poculica

22 branch, Dragan Grebenar?

23 A. Yes, yes.

24 Q. And at the same time while being the president of the Poculica HDZ

25 branch, he was the head -- also he was also the head, the leader of the

Page 25733

1 unit of village guards to which you belonged as well, too?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. This document which was shown you and that we are talking about

4 and which was -- which comes from the defence office in Vitez, would you

5 know why would a document with a list of party members be in a defence

6 office, that is, an office which is responsible for military affairs?

7 A. I don't know that.

8 Q. Mr. Dragan Grebenar was sitting in your seat a few days ago. He

9 also testified here. Did you have an opportunity to talk to him since his

10 testimony?

11 A. I didn't even see him, to tell you the truth, because I wasn't at

12 home.

13 Q. Let us go back to various things that you told us about, and in

14 particular those village guards that you told us about. And you also told

15 us that you were one of them. You told us that those village guards were

16 made of both Muslims and Croats. Was that also true until the 16th of

17 April, 1993?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. But in April 1993, on the 15th of April, 1993, were they still

20 mixed?

21 A. Yes, right up to the conflict.

22 Q. Could you give us the names of Muslim individuals who were members

23 of that unit at the same time that you were a member of it.

24 A. I've already said about Causevic and Ekrem Bektas. They stood

25 guard with me between the 15th and the 16th.

Page 25734













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Page 25735

1 Q. And those -- and they were members of the BH army or the HVO?

2 A. They were members of the village guards, but they stood guard

3 together with us.

4 Q. And that village guard unit that you tell us about, it was made of

5 reservists, I suppose.

6 A. I wouldn't know. They were mostly civilians.

7 Q. Do you know what is a reservist? What does it mean?

8 A. Well, I think it's a reserve soldier.

9 Q. And when he's not being a soldier, what is he then? A civilian,

10 isn't he?

11 A. Well, depends.

12 Q. And in the organisation of the former Yugoslav army, there were

13 several elements: There were active duty soldiers, there were reserves.

14 And that same system was taken over, as said by an HVO decree, isn't it?

15 A. There was also the civil defence and there was also that defence

16 force.

17 Q. Yes. We agree on that. You were, I believe, 39 at the time of

18 that conflict, or 40, and you were still a reserve.

19 A. Well, yes. I was in the reserve even with that army.

20 Q. No. I'm talking about the HVO. Aren't you on the lists of the

21 defence office in Vitez?

22 A. I don't really understand.

23 Q. There was a defence office in Vitez; you know that, don't you?

24 A. Yeah.

25 Q. And there you had a record there, like all the people who were on

Page 25736

1 the reserve or all those who were on active duty?

2 A. Yeah. Yes, yes.

3 Q. And that unit of village guards, as you call it, you told us that

4 it had its commander and that his name was Dragan Grebenar, you told us

5 already about, and he's a man who testified here a few days ago. Did he

6 have a rank?

7 A. No.

8 Q. But he gave you orders?

9 A. Well, we elected him.

10 Q. And he was the one who told you, "Go patrol Kuber" or go patrol

11 somewhere else?

12 A. Only Kuber and in the village.

13 Q. And that Mount Kuber is, in point of fact, a hill above your

14 village?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And from which one can see Zenica?

17 A. You can, yes.

18 Q. Could you tell me if in April 1993 there were any Serbs in Zenica,

19 Serbs about to attack you?

20 A. I couldn't really say.

21 Q. But don't you know where the front against the Serbs was at the

22 time? It was in the direction of Travnik, Mount Vlasic, not Zenica.

23 A. I can't say anything.

24 Q. And that village guard unit, could you tell us, what gear did you

25 have? Did you have weapons? Did you have uniforms?

Page 25737

1 A. No. We had weapons, but we took them one from the other. We did

2 not have any uniforms.

3 Q. You did not have uniforms, yet you told us that you were captured

4 in your house on the morning of the 16th of April by the Muslims and that

5 you were wearing a uniform. That is what you told us, isn't it?

6 A. Yes, but that uniform I was given by a friend. It's not that I

7 had it because I was issued with it.

8 Q. And the weapons that you had, what kind of weapons? Hunting?

9 A. We had ordinary Sokac.

10 Q. And how many of them?

11 A. I wouldn't say that there were ten of them.

12 Q. I'm going to show you a document. It is document 653. Can you

13 see this document on page 1? It is marked "Commander Slavko Papic" and it

14 is marked "Poculica" and "number 13." And after that it is seen that the

15 company lacks armament and there are four Sokac guns.

16 A. This is Poculica. You can see Nadioci and Veliki Mosunj.

17 Q. On the version that I have got here, there is written "Poculica."

18 There is the municipality of Poculica. And this is also on the document

19 that is on the ELMO.

20 A. No, Poculica.

21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Could I have the document in

22 the original language?

23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ramljak, do you see the document just where you

24 are looking now, Poculica?

25 A. I see it now, yes, I do.

Page 25738

1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Can you read the words Poculica?

3 A. [No interpretation]

4 Q. Have you got problems with your eyesight?

5 JUDGE MAY: He says he's seen it.

6 A. Yes. I can see it now, 13 soldiers.

7 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Could you give us comment on the unit of the 13 men who were at

9 Poculica? Do you know who were these men? Did you know them?

10 A. Again, it was this village guards. There were always ten of us

11 who were going to Kuber and three stayed behind in the village on duty.

12 Q. So you are telling us that you were one of these 13 men?

13 A. Sometimes I was, sometimes I was not.

14 Q. Before you fold your spectacles, will you please look again at

15 this document. It is a document originating from the Vitez Brigade dated

16 the 13th of April. You are telling us that you were not a member of the

17 Vitez Brigade.

18 A. Yes, but from when? I was a member of the Vitez Brigade when I

19 escaped the prison.

20 Q. That was much later on. On the 14th of April, 1993, which is the

21 date of this document.

22 A. It is not.

23 Q. You have just told us that you were one of the 13 men who were

24 present at Poculica of this unit posted there for the Vitez Brigade. This

25 unit of village guards which belonged, according to this document, to the

Page 25739

1 Vitez Brigade, you spoke about weapons, did it have any radio equipment?

2 A. I don't remember at all that I was -- there were other people who

3 were in the Poculica Brigade. I was not there at that time.

4 Q. Your commander, Mr. Dragan Grebenar, did he have a radio

5 transmitter?

6 A. Yes. I couldn't say. I never saw them [as interpreted].

7 Q. You never heard anything about it either?

8 A. No.

9 Q. On the evening of the 15th of April, you told us that you were

10 guarding, together with other members of this group, some of whom were

11 Muslim. When did you end this village guard? When did you end your

12 shift?

13 A. 6.00 in the morning.

14 Q. You went home and immediately afterwards, you told us that you had

15 found out your house was rounded up by the soldiers belonging to the

16 Bosnian Serbs?

17 A. The army -- no, there were no Serbs out there. There was only the

18 ABiH.

19 Q. That is exactly what I said. Maybe I have made a mistake. It was

20 the BH army.

21 A. You said Bosnian Serbs.

22 JUDGE MAY: There's been a misunderstanding. It's the Bosnian

23 army. Yes, let's move on, please.

24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

25 Q. You did not have the time to go to bed.

Page 25740

1 A. No.

2 Q. And you are telling us that it was around about 6.00 in the

3 morning that your house was rounded up.

4 A. No. Quarter to 7.00. That is how I said it. After I had come

5 from my duty.

6 Q. In the summary of your evidence, it is -- it is told that it was

7 at 6.00, now you are saying 6.45 which is not quite the same. Did you

8 read this summary, and you signed the summary?

9 A. I told you that I was on duty until 6.00 and by the time I turned

10 in my weapon and signed out, it was quarter to 7.00, to 7.00.

11 Q. So there is a mistake in your summary, we agree on that.

12 A. It's correct, yes. I said nicely that I left to take the weapon

13 back in at 6.00 and by the time I went back, I got back it was quarter to

14 7.00, to 7.00. That's what I said.

15 Q. The village of Poculica, at what distance is that village from

16 Ahmici?

17 A. I couldn't say.

18 Q. Is it at 15 kilometres or 20 kilometres or is it one kilometre

19 away? I mean as the crow flies.

20 A. I think about seven kilometres.

21 Q. I am not completely sure we haven't got enough time to examine the

22 map once again, but to me it seemed that this distance is highly

23 exaggerated. However, did you hear any explosions or did you hear any

24 gunfire while you were on your tour of duty up until 6.00 in the morning?

25 A. I did not hear anything because it was -- there was quite a

Page 25741

1 distance.

2 Q. You did not hear any noise, any combat noise all throughout that

3 you were on your tour of duty so you didn't notice anything?

4 A. No. We did not see anything. We couldn't see anything from up

5 there.

6 Q. I am not asking you whether you have seen anything. I'm just

7 asking you whether you were able to hear anything which is a completely

8 different thing and during the night, one can hear the noise very far,

9 especially if it's gunfire. You told us that you were surprised while you

10 were at home and after that, you were captured by the soldiers.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And it was still -- you maintain it was at a quarter to 7.00 in

13 the morning?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You have also told us that it was around midday that there was a

16 loud speaker that was put on the minaret to require an ultimatum from the

17 Croats in the village.

18 A. Yes, but the loud speaker was not put up there. It was always

19 there.

20 Q. Of course. Are you sure about the hours? You are not making a

21 mistake on the hours of today?

22 A. Where? You mean the mosque?

23 Q. No. I am speaking about the time when you were rounded up and of

24 the time when you heard the ultimatum from the mosque?

25 A. And 12.00.

Page 25742

1 Q. Have you seen, during that night when you were on duty,

2 Mr. Grebenar?

3 A. No.

4 Q. How can you explain that he had told that he spent the night with

5 the men who were mounting the village guard, that is what he said here?

6 JUDGE MAY: That's not for the witness to say. There's no need to

7 answer that. Just let's get on.

8 A. It was in the lower village.

9 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

10 Q. The same witness was saying that the attack on the village started

11 at half past 8.00, not at a quarter to 7.00?

12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, you can make these points to us in

13 due course when you make your submissions.

14 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

15 JUDGE MAY: If you would bring your examination to a close in ten

16 minutes.

17 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Mr. Ramljak, I would like to show you a document, it's a document

19 said 682.3.

20 Mr. Ramljak, this document was signed by the duty officer of the

21 Vitez Brigade of the 16th of April at 1800 hours and which contains

22 information about the situation at Poculica and Gornja Dubravica. As you

23 can see in paragraph 2, it is stated that about 0900 hours, the Muslim

24 forces, out of which there were Muslims, gave an ultimatum to the Croats

25 and threatened them to destroy the village unless they surrendered. And

Page 25743

1 the following paragraph states that, "The members of our unit did not

2 accept this ultimatum and they courageously resisted to an enemy who was

3 outnumbering them." And here they speak about an ultimatum that was given

4 at 9.00 in the morning, not at midday.

5 Could you please give an answer?

6 A. The ultimatum was issued at noon. This is someone's mistake.

7 Q. The third paragraph which I have just read says, "The members of

8 our municipality had courageously resisted, and they rejected this

9 ultimatum." Who are these members of our units? We say that here this is

10 an officer of the Vitez Brigade who is speaking. Are these the village

11 guards, that the village guard -- were the village guard members of it?

12 A. There were members of the village guard and the civilians.

13 Q. And the members of the village guards, there were how many of

14 them?

15 A. I think -- I don't know if I can say exactly but maybe about 20

16 men because they were reinforced later, they put on some old uniforms, and

17 then the civilians also helped us. I mean they helped them, not me.

18 Q. These members of the village guards you are speaking of, they

19 resisted to the Muslim attacks, this is what you are telling us, and this

20 is what the document is saying.

21 A. [No interpretation]

22 Q. Do you know when happened the attack on Ahmici? When happened the

23 attacks on the neighbouring villages of Vitez, like Veceriska and Santici,

24 Stari Vitez?

25 A. I don't know, because I was in prison for two months. I didn't

Page 25744

1 get any information, so I didn't have any knowledge.

2 Q. You told us just a moment ago -- and here I'm changing the

3 subject -- you spoke about the death of three prisoners which had been

4 taken to this neighbouring Muslim village, neighbouring to your village,

5 that is. Do you know under what circumstances were these three prisoners

6 killed?

7 A. I heard that from the two men who were in the prison -- no, I mean

8 in the hospital in Crkvica. A man had apparently shot through the iron

9 door, metal door, and killed them and killed -- and wounded six women.

10 They don't know who it was. I mean, they know who it was, but they don't

11 want to say it.

12 Q. They wouldn't -- there was not an execution; on that we can agree?

13 A. What do you mean, executed? He was shooting through the door.

14 Three men were killed, two were wounded.

15 Q. You do not know whether the soldier who committed these acts

16 suddenly lost his mind because he had lost some of his -- the members of

17 his close family because of the HVO attacks that were going on in the area

18 at the time?

19 A. I cannot say anything about that, because I don't know. I was not

20 in the village. I was in Sivrino Selo at that time.

21 Q. Thank you. You told us about a conversation you had with a

22 certain Vlado Santic, who told you that some 18 [phoen] Soldiers were

23 killed at Kuber. Could you tell us, which is this Vlado Santic that you

24 are speaking of?

25 A. Vlado Santic was my foreman, my boss, in my factory.

Page 25745

1 Q. Was he a member of the Vitez Brigade as well?

2 A. I don't know. I didn't see him. I cannot say anything.

3 Q. Which village did he come from?

4 A. From Zume.

5 Q. You were freed, thanks to the intervention of the Red Cross. You

6 did not escape.

7 A. I was released by the Red Cross, but I escaped from the KP Dom.

8 On that occasion I was not exchanged.

9 Q. I see. What did you do between the moment that you were liberated

10 by the Red Cross and the moment when you were captured once again at

11 Dubravica?

12 A. I didn't understand you very well.

13 Q. You were freed by the Red Cross at a certain moment, and then you

14 told us that you were captured once again by the Bosnian soldiers' army.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Between these two detentions, what did you do? Because in the

17 meantime you had been freed by the Red Cross.

18 A. I started down for Vitez and they captured me again, took me

19 prisoner.

20 Q. That was later on?

21 A. Later, yes.

22 Q. And during all this time that you were free, what did you do?

23 That is my question.

24 A. What do you mean? Where was I free? I was not free in the

25 prison.

Page 25746

1 Q. I don't think we managed to understand each other. Before you

2 came to testify in this case today, you did accept to be a witness in

3 front of this Tribunal in a different case, didn't you?

4 A. I don't know what you mean, because I testified just like here.

5 Q. Were you not supposed to be a witness in a different case

6 concerning Messrs. Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic?

7 A. Why? I know very few people.

8 Q. Your name was given by the counsel for these two people as being

9 one of the witnesses who would come to testify. That is correct, isn't

10 it?

11 A. What two persons?

12 Q. In November 1998 the Defence of Mr. Kupreskic gave to the Tribunal

13 and to the Prosecutor's office a summary of the evidence that you were to

14 give in that case. Do you remember that?

15 A. I don't remember. None of them called me as a witness. This is

16 all made up.

17 Q. Did you give a declaration to the counsel for Defence of

18 Mr. Kupreskic? You are Vlado Ramljak and you were born on the 11th of

19 April, 1953, at Poculica?

20 A. Yes. And where did I give the statement? I don't know. This

21 doesn't make sense at all.

22 Q. I have got the summary in front of my eyes, and it is -- the

23 Chamber can see it. And there is also -- it is in English and there is

24 also the name -- there are also names of counsels for defence from

25 Zagreb.

Page 25747

1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, this isn't our case, and if the

2 witness says he doesn't remember, the fact that counsel on another case

3 served a statement I don't think could be held against him to be put in

4 cross-examination.

5 Did you see -- let me ask this. Mr. Ramljak, did you go and talk

6 or did some lawyers come and talk to you about giving evidence in the

7 Kupreskic case?

8 A. Nobody came to me, nor did I talk to anyone.

9 JUDGE MAY: I don't think we can take that much further.

10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there are

11 differences and -- there are important differences, even on points which

12 were mentioned today. So I simply wanted to point them out, because this

13 is exactly this same witness who spoke about exactly the same facts.

14 JUDGE MAY: No doubt. Is the statement signed and is it in

15 B/C/S?

16 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the statement that

17 I have got was signed by a lawyer, and this lawyer gave it, saying that,

18 on the one hand, there is a list of witnesses, and, on the other hand,

19 there was a list of all the statements made by these witnesses, so I

20 thought it was relevant.

21 [Trial Chamber confers]

22 JUDGE MAY: No, Mr. Lopez-Terres. This is a document which a

23 lawyer has handed in. The witness says that he didn't see the lawyer.

24 Knowing what we do about summaries, some of the summaries in this

25 Tribunal, I don't think it would be right to try and cross-examine this

Page 25748

1 witness about it. If you want to, no doubt you can call the lawyer, as

2 Judge Robinson points out. And it is a quarter to 4.00, so I must ask

3 you, please, to wind up.

4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] The main part of what I wanted

5 to ask during this cross-examination, and especially taking into account

6 the statements, which there were some omissions, which is something that

7 we could also state in -- we were also able to find out in the past, and

8 taking into account the remarks of the Trial Chamber, I don't think that I

9 have got any other questions for this witness.

10 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

11 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to be very brief, Your

12 Honour.

13 Re-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:

14 Q. Mr. Ramljak, my learned friend ask you a number of questions about

15 times, whether it was 6.00, whether it was 6.40, whether it was 9.00 or

16 12.00. On 16th of April, when your house was surrounded, when you were

17 asked to give up your weapons, when Mr. Grebenar was wounded by shrapnel,

18 when your family was taken into captivity, were you looking at your watch

19 a lot?

20 A. How can I say you [as interpreted]? I was very surprised.

21 Q. Very well, Mr. Ramljak. What time is it now?

22 JUDGE MAY: Well, that is -- sounds like a trick. No.

23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. Mr. Grebenar [sic], do you wear a watch or carry one?

25 Mr. Ramljak, I'm sorry. Do you wear a watch or do you carry a watch?

Page 25749













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Page 25750

1 A. I don't usually. I don't have one now. I usually do.

2 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have

3 no further questions.

4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ramljak, that concludes your evidence. Thank you

5 for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.

6 Very well. We'll adjourn now. We can't sit until tomorrow

7 morning at 9.45, 9.45 tomorrow.

8 Yes, Mr. Kovacic.

9 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if it is a matter of planning, I would

10 just like to confirm that we have just two witnesses, as is on the list.

11 They are relatively short, at least for us, for a direct. So I don't

12 think that you will be concerned about time. There is plenty of time to

13 finish.

14 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.

15 I'll just ask the registry what time is the next case.

16 [Trial Chamber confers with registrar]

17 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn for 20 minutes before the next case.

18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.49 p.m., to

19 be reconvened on Thursday, the 28th day of

20 September, 2000, at 9.45 a.m.